American Pharoah Jockey Victor Espinoza Gives Back to Cancer Center

Espinoza has often donated to City of Hope, a cancer research center.

ByABC News
June 7, 2015, 5:17 PM

— -- For years, racehorse jockey Victor Espinoza, who came from humble beginnings in Mexico, has donated a portion of his winnings to City of Hope, a California-based cancer research and treatment center.

Now a Triple Crown champion, Espinoza is continuing the tradition by donating his entire earnings from the Belmont Stakes to the cancer center.

"I won the Triple Crown right now but I don't make any money because I'm donating all the money to the City of Hope," he said after the race.

City of Hope, which also focuses on other life-threatening diseases including diabetes and HIV/AIDS, has not confirmed the donation, telling ABC News today the center is "currently celebrating Mr. Espinoza's remarkable achievement and has not yet communicated with him officially about his donation."

City of Hope said in a statement: "City of Hope is deeply grateful for the support of Victor Espinoza and for his continuing efforts to raise awareness of our groundbreaking scientific research and our lifesaving, patient-focused care. We are extremely pleased to be able to congratulate him and American Pharaoh for their remarkable accomplishment in winning the Triple Crown."

Espinoza has visited City of Hope often, according to a post on the City of Hope site, to share "smiles, gifts and stories."

Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to victory in all three races this season, said he knew at the Belmont's first turn that American Pharoah would win.

This was the third time Espinoza was in the running for the triple crown, but the first time he succeeded. In 2002, Epsinoza won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness riding War Emblem. In 2014, he rode California Chrome to victory at the Derby and Preakness, but again came up short at the Belmont.