Jockey Victor Espinoza is not the only one hoping for some good karma this week at Del Mar Racetrack. Espinoza, who said he wanted to do something to help the backstretch workers who spend more time than anyone with the horses, will donate all of his earnings from Wednesday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 14 at Del Mar to benefit California racetrack grooms.
Espinoza kicks it off with four mounts on Wednesday’s 8-race card. His best shot may be in the 4th race on Square Deal, a Kristin Mulhall shipper with two allowance wins at Oak Tree/Hollywood Park in October. Square Deal, a 6-year-old Sky Mesa gelding, last ran on Dec. 1 at Hollywood Park, when he was third to Cost of Freedom in an overnight stakes.
Espinoza also rides two Benjamin Warren home-breds for trainer Jorge Gutierrez on Wednesday’s card: Warren’s Morgan in the 2nd race and Warren’s Knockout in the 7th, the $100,000 Real Good Deal Stakes. Warren’s Knockout, winner of the Grey Memo Stakes at Hollywood Park in April, exits a win in an allowance optional claiming race on July 31 at Del Mar.
In the 5th race, Espinoza rides For You My Heart for trainer Vann Belvoir, who brought a string of horses to Del Mar from Washington for the first time this year. The 3-year-old Kafwain filly has two wins from four starts at Emerald Downs.
Espinoza is named to ride in four races on Thursday and five on Friday, including Strawberry Tart in the Daisycutter Handicap for trainer Jeff Bonde.
A winner’s circle ceremony is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 17, when Espinoza will present a check for his week’s earnings to the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation.