Jockey Victor Espinoza Donates Belmont Stakes Winnings to Cancer Charity

Victor Espinoza, Ahmed Zayat
The Associated Press

American Pharoah’s victory at Belmont Park left his jockey and trainer in a giving mood.

Silver-haired Bob Baffert earmarked $50,000 each to a Triple Crown of horse-racing charities: the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, California Retirement Management Account, and Old Friends Farm in the wake of the win, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The second and third organizations provide care for race horses in retirement (read: greener pastures rather than glue factory).

Victor Espinoza favored the humans over the beautiful beasts. The jockey vowed to give all of his Belmont Stakes winnings to a group supporting cancer treatment.

“I [won] the Triple Crown race now,” Espinoza explained after the Belmont Stakes. “But I didn’t make any money, because I donated my money to the City of Hope.”

Owner Ahmed Zayat also gives big like he wins big. He gave $500,000 to the Frisch School in New Jersey and another big gift to the Sinai Special Needs Institute. No word on Saturday out of Elmont, New York, if he plans to share the new wealth with the needy.

American Pharoah became the first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown and just the twelfth victor overall. Baffert had entered the Belmont three earlier times with a chance to complete the Triple Crown as a trainer and Espinoza enjoyed two previous chances before finally succeeding on Saturday.