Jockey Victor Espinoza moved into second place in Triple Crown victories among active riders with Saturday’s Belmont Stakes win aboard American Pharoah. It was Espinoza’s seventh victory in a Triple Crown event, and he trails only Hall of Famer Gary Stevens who has nine. With three historic wins aboard American Pharoah, Espinoza surpassed Kent Desormeaux who has six. Calvin Borel and John Velazquez each have four.
A 43 year old native of Mexico City, Espinoza has an outstanding Triple Crown record of seven wins, two seconds and one third in 19 mounts for a win percentage of 36%. The best Triple Crown win percentage for active jockeys goes to Mario Gutierrez, who is a perfect two for two. Gutierrez guided I’ll Have Another to victories in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Participants in the Triple Crown were very generous after the Belmont. Trainer Bob Baffert pledged $50,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund. Also, Espinoza was a significant contributor to the Kentucky Derby Day silent auction held at tracks across America which raised more than $30,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.