ELMONT, N.Y., June 9 (UPI) -- The jockey that led American Pharoah to Triple Crown victory will donate his Belmont Stakes winnings to charity.
Victor Espinoza, who won the third and final Triple Crown race in Elmont, N.Y., on Saturday, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that his prize money will go to the City of Hope, a California cancer treatment center.
"At the wire I was like, 'I cannot believe I did it,'" Espinoza said. "I [won] the Triple Crown race now, but I didn't make any money, because I donated my money to the City of Hope."
Espinoza usually donates 10 percent of his winnings to the charity, which is based in Duarte, Calif., near his home.
"I just saw one kid with that disease and that's how I changed my life," Espinoza told Newsday just before the Belmont race. "I changed the way I think. Pretty much I changed everything," he said. "For me, health is No. 1."
Espinoza won $80,000 on Saturday, though a portion of that money goes to his agent and assistants, according to the Washington Post.
American Pharoah's trainer Bob Baffert was also feeling charitable after the race. Baffert and his wife, Jill, donated $150,000 to three charities --- the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, the California Retirement Management Account and Old Friends Farm, a retired racehorses facility.