Justify, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, is running in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday night and, if he wins, he will become only the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.
There's also prize money on the line: Belmont's total purse of $1.5 million will be divided among the top eight finishers, and the winner will collect $800,000.
That wouldn't be a bad pay day for Justify's ownership team, who already brought home $1.24 million from the Derby and $900,000 from the Preakness. Three groups have an ownership stake in the colt: WinStar Farm owns 60 percent, China Horse Club owns 25 percent, and a third, low-profile entity linked, the New York Times reports, to billionaire investor George Soros, holds 15 percent.
Like American Pharoah did in 2015 when he won the Triple Crown, Justify would earn his ownership team a total of $2.94 million in prize money from the three races.
Justify's 52-year-old jockey, Mike Smith, would also benefit from a victory at Belmont: The winning horse rider gets 10 percent of what the owners collect which means that Smith, who already collected checks for $124,000 and $90,000 from the first two legs of the Triple Crown, would earn an additional $80,000. That number would get shaved down about 30 percent after Smith pays his agent and valet, the person who gets the jockey's gear in place.
The second and third place jockeys get 5 percent of their owner's take ($280,000 and $150,000 for Belmont), meaning the second place jockey will get a check for $14,000 and the third place jockey will get one for $7,500, before fees.
If Justify does win the esteemed Triple Crown on Saturday, the team won't get any sort of monetary bonus. But the pride that comes with joining the exclusive stable of Triple Crown champions is priceless.
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