Victor Espinoza: could be celebrating a winning waltz
PICTURE: Getty Images
HE has been pivotal to the success this season of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and now jockey Victor Espinoza will attempt to prove his feet are as talented as his hands in US reality show Dancing With The Stars.
The American equivalent of the wildly popular Strictly Come Dancing which airs in Britain on the BBC, Dancing With The Stars is about to begin its 21st series next month, and Espinoza, 43, will strut his stuff against other celebrities.
So far actress and conservationist Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, and pop star Nick Carter have also been announced as contestants on the show.
Espinoza’s inclusion highlights the appeal Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has had on the American audience beyond racing, with the colt starring in fashion magazine Vogue and also on the front cover of Sports Illustrated.
As befitting the first jockey to win America’s Triple Crown since Steve Cauthen aboard Affirmed in 1978, Espinoza is not lacking in confidence for his new challenge, and might be a dark horse to know his salsa as well as his stirrups.
His agent Brian Beach, quoted on the blood-horse website, said: “He says he’s a decent dancer, but he’s planning on learning a lot.
“He knows rehearsals are pretty intense, but he welcomes that because he puts himself through pretty intense workouts already and this will be in place of those workouts and give him some variety.
“He’s looking forward to meeting people and to competing.”
Espinoza is not the first jockey to attempt to prove his poise on the dancefloor, with three-time champion jump jockey Richard Dunwoody swapping silks for sequins on Strictly Come Dancing 2009.
However he proved better in the saddle, and was the second celebrity to be voted off.
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