150th Kentucky Derby
May 4th, 2024
Apr 18, 2023

Quarter Horses are known for flashing from the starting gate and zipping down the track.

Article By: Hal Lundgren

Jose Espinoza

Quarter Horses are known for flashing from the starting gate and zipping down the track. 

 

They've got nothing on Jose Espinoza. They match his work style. The veteran trainer starts his day

fast and and never slows down. 

 

"I really don't have time for a day off," said Espinoza, who is stabling 18 horses at Sam Houston Race

Park for the April 21-June 17 Quarter Horse meet. 

 

"I'm a trainer, but I'm also in the tile business. We have three stores in the (Rio Grande) Valley."

 

Then, he quipped, "We've got to do something to buy food for these horses."

 

On the day of this interview, Espinoza's schedule could not have been more squeezed. He worked in one of his Materiales El Valle stores until 3 p.m. He then flew from McAllen's airport to Houston before changing planes for his flight to Orlando. 

 

There, he attended Coverings, the massive, annual show for the tile and natural stone businesses. He viewed and evaluated what's new in commercial and residential tile. 

 

"Years ago, tile stayed pretty much the same every year," he said. Today, it's changing all the time. To succeed in this business, you have to keep up with the changes."

 

Looking at who determines design trends, he compared tile with women's fashion.

 

"Women select what's right for them in fashion," he said. "The tile business is very similar. Ladies do the choosing."

 

When Coverings ended, he came back to SHRP to choose the right races for his 18 runners. His special interest is the $450,000 (estimated) Sam Houston Futurity. Trials will be held on May 13, then the final on June 3.

 

Family guided Espinoza to both his careers. His dad, Rosalio, founded Materiales El Valle. His grandfather and great-grandfather's interest in Quarter Horses raised his interest in racing. 

 

"I'm looking forward to the Sam Houston meet," he said. "In addition to Texas, we race in Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. We stay pretty busy.

 

"It's important to have the support of my wife and daughters. They come to the races when they can. We're all interested in Quarter Horses. That's a good thing."

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