Saturday, March 7, 2009

John Velazquez Jockey of the Week


Mar 5th, 09
Jockey John Velazquez rode Quality Road to victory in the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (GII) to lead all North American riders with $336,860 in purse earnings for the week ended March 3.

Velazquez rode Quality Road for the first time in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, a one-mile race for three-year-old Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) hopefuls on February 28 at Gulfstream Park. On the same card, he also rode Twilight Meteor to victory in the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (GIII)
A Carolina, Puerto Rico, native who lives in West Hempstead, New York, Velazquez rides first call for trainer Todd Pletcher, who trains Twilight Meteor. The jockey and Pletcher earned their first victory in a North American classic in 2007 when Rags to Riches became the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes (GI).
Velazquez won Eclipse Awards as North America's outstanding rider in 2004 and '05. The 37-year-old rider was named the 2009 recipient of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which has been presented annually since 1950 by Santa Anita Park to jockeys whose careers and personal character earn esteem for Thoroughbred racing. A nationwide vote of riders determines the winner of the award.
Velazquez was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Jockeys' Guild in 2006.
Thoroughbred Times TODAY