Los Angeles Times

Bill Plaschke: Jockey Espinoza, his body broken by a fall, rides the comeback trail

LOS ANGELES - The Hall of Fame jockey is riding a hard-back dining room chair, the only one in his house his broken body can navigate.

His weakened hands are clutching invisible reins, grabbing at the air, again and again.

His head is motionless because of a neck brace, but his eyes are moving, filling, brimming with tears.

"One minute, I'm winning the Triple Crown," Victor Espinoza says softly. "The next minute, I can't feed myself."

The spacious Del Mar home is quiet. The room with the shiny silver trophies is darkened. A mechanical horse no longer creaks.

This is a peek beyond the silk. This is the other side of the roses. This is where the ride ends and reality begins.

On a July Sunday morning at the seaside Del Mar race track, Espinoza was riding Bobby Abu Dhabi in sprinting workout when their worlds literally

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