08/02/2017 12:00PM

Espinoza, Goldikova among Hall of Fame inductees

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Barbara D. Livingston
Goldikova won the Breeders' Cup Mile in 2008, 2009, and 2010. She is the only horse to win a Breeders' Cup race three years in a row.

Ten jockeys have won the Kentucky Derby at least three times. Nine of them are already in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and on Friday, the 10th member of that elite group, Victor Espinoza, will be among those inducted during the annual ceremony at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Espinoza is part of a star-studded group of contemporary jockeys who will be enshrined. The others are four-time reigning Eclipse Award winner Javier Castellano and the late Garrett Gomez, who tragically did not live long enough to personally take his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

Those riders will be joined by the great mare Goldikova, a three-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile; the late steeplechase trainer Tom Voss and the steeplechase horse Good Night Shirt; and three men – John Gaines, Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps, and Matt Winn – who go in as Pillars of the Turf.

Tom Durkin is the emcee. The event is streamed live on the museum’s website.

Espinoza, 45, won the Derby with War Emblem in 2002, California Chrome in 2014, and rode American Pharoah to a sweep of the Triple Crown in 2015, the highlights of a career that have seen him win 3,325 races and have his mounts earn more than $194 million.

“For me, it’s a great honor to be in the Hall of Fame,” Espinoza said recently at Del Mar, where he is currently riding.

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At the start of his career in Mexico City, “I never would have believed this,” he said. “I did not grow up around horses and this sport.”

Espinoza did not first learn about racing until he was 14 and spent part of his teens as a bus driver in Mexico City. But his career took off in California, where he first had success in Northern California before moving to the tougher and more lucrative Southern California circuit.

Martin Panza, the senior vice president for racing operations for the New York Racing Association, will introduce Espinoza at the Hall of Fame.

Castellano, 39, has been named the champion jockey in each of the last four years and entered Wednesday’s racing at Saratoga with 4,727 career wins and earnings of more than $284 million by his mounts, ranking him fifth all time in earnings. Castellano set a single-season record in 2015, when his mounts earned more than $28.1 million.

Castellano has won seven Breeders’ Cup races and has won the Preakness twice, including this year with Cloud Computing. He has won the Travers a record five times. He will be introduced by jockeys Ramon Dominguez and John Velazquez, both members of the Hall of Fame.

Gomez, who died in December at age 44, won 3,769 races, and his horses earned more than $205 million. He was a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award as champion jockey and won 13 Breeders’ Cup races, including aboard Blame in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, defeating the previously unbeaten Zenyatta.

Gomez’s father, Louie, and a daughter, Amanda, will accept on his behalf.

Goldikova won 17 of 27 starts, mostly in Europe, but had terrific success on her annual journeys to the United States. She is the only horse to have won the Breeders’ Cup Mile three straight years (2008-2010). Her three Breeders’ Cup wins are matched only by future Hall of Famer Beholder, who won the Juvenile Fillies once and the Distaff twice.

Her owners, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, are unable to attend the ceremony, but a video tribute of Goldikova will be played.

Voss, who died in 2014 at 63, won five National Steeplechase titles as a trainer. His best flat runner was the popular grass runner John’s Call. His son Sam will accept his award.

Good Night Shirt won 14 of 33 starts over the jumps and on the flat and was the Eclipse Award-winning steeplechaser of 2007 and 2008. His award will be accepted by owner Sonny Via.

Gaines, who died in 2005 at 76, was an influential breeder through his Gainesway Farm and likely is best known today as the driving force behind the creation of the Breeders’ Cup. His son Thomas will accept.

Phipps, who died last year at 75, is from a highly influential racing family and was the longtime chairman of The Jockey Club, one of several positions he held to try to improve the sport. His best runners included champions Inside Information and Storm Flag Flying, and he was a co-owner of 2013 Derby winner Orb. His award will be accepted by his son Ogden Phipps II.

Winn is credited with raising the profile of the Derby while president of Churchill Downs during the early years of the prior century. He died in 1949 at 88. His award will be accepted by his great-grandson Richard Herrmann.

In conjunction with the induction ceremonies, Espinoza will be signing autographs at the Hall of Fame on Friday from 1-2 p.m., and Castellano will do the same Saturday from 10-11 a.m.

Javier Castellano

Born: Oct. 23, 1977, Maracaibo, Venezuela

Career record*

Starts: 25,988

Wins: 4,727

Earnings: $284,798,146 (5th all time)

·         Won four consecutive Eclipse Awards as outstanding jockey, 2013-16, tying record held by Jerry Bailey

·         Won seven Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2004 Classic on Ghostzapper

·         Set single-season earnings record in 2015 with over $28.1 million

·         Won the Preakness twice, with Bernardini (2006) and this year with Cloud Computing

·         Has won the Travers a record five times

*-through Aug. 1, 2017

Victor Espinoza

Born: May 23, 1972, Hidalgo, Mexico

Career record*

Starts: 21,725

Wins: 3,325

Earnings: $194,297,476

·         Rode American Pharoah to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first horse to sweep the American classics and the Breeders’ Cup Classic

·         Rode both War Emblem and California Chrome to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness

·         Subsequently won the Dubai World Cup and Pacific Classic with California Chrome

·         Besides American Pharoah, has won Breeders’ Cup races with Spain (2000 Distaff) and Take Charge Brandi (2014 Juvenile Fillies, both huge longshots paying over $100

*-through Aug. 1, 2017

Garrett Gomez

Born:  January 1, 1972; Died: December 14, 2016

Career record

Starts: 21,639

Wins: 3,769

Earnings: $205,224,899

·         Won Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey in 2007 and 2008

·         Led the nation in earnings four consecutive years, 2006-2009

·         Won 13 Breeders’ Cup races, tied for second all time, topped by Blame’s win in the 2010 Classic, the only loss of Zenyatta’s 20-race career

·         Won four Breeders’ Cup races in 2008

Goldikova (Ire)

B.m. 2005, by Anabaa-Born Gold, by Blushing Groom

Owner/breeder: Gerard and Alain Wertheimer

Trainer: Freddy Head

Jockey: Olivier Peslier

Record: 27-17-6-3

Earnings: $7,176,551

·         The only horse to ever win three consecutive Breeders’ Cup races, winning the Mile from 2008-2010; finished third beaten a length in her bid for a fourth straight Mile in 2011

·         Won 14 Grade or Group 1 races in her career, all but five against males

·         Won four consecutive runnings of the Group 1 Prix Rothschild

·         Trainer Freddy Head won the BC Mile in consecutive years as a jockey, with Miesque in 1987-88