February 24, 2016

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza has been chosen as winner of the annual George Woolf Award, which honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for them and thoroughbred racing.

Espinoza was selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide. The 43-year-old rider will receive the award on March 13 at Santa Anita. The other finalists were Joe Bravo, Javier Castellano, Gerard Melancon and Joe Steiner.

Espinoza rode American Pharoah to the sport's first Triple Crown victory in 37 years. They won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont last year, along with the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. Espinoza donated 10 percent of his winnings to support pediatric cancer research at City of Hope in nearby Duarte.

First presented in 1950, the award is named for Woolf, best known for riding Seabiscuit in the 1930s. Woolf was killed in a riding accident at Santa Anita at age 35.

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