Who Is John Velazquez? posted by Horse Racing
Born November 24, 1971 in Puerto Rico, John Velazquez is a popular horseracing jockey, who has more than 5,146 wins to his credit. Velazquez learnt horse riding in his country and by 1990 had won his first official race at the Canovanas racetrack. In the same year, he was guided by his agent to move to New York, U.S.A., where he started earning many riding titles at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack.
In 1998, Velazquez won his first Breeders' Cup race, and has gone on to win this cup seven more times in his career. He has also been very successful in graded stake races that include the Cigar Mile Handicap, Woodbine Mile, Whitney Handicap, E. P. Taylor Stakes, Dubai World Cup, Blue Grass Stakes, and the Kentucky Oaks. In September 2001, Velazquez managed six wins in a single card, which is a Saratoga record. He also earned the title of United States Champion Jockey by earnings in 2004 and 2005, and received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in the same years as well.
In 2006, Velazquez was chosen to be included in the Puerto Rico Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2009. In the same year, he defeated the unbeaten Dunkirk at the Florida Derby, when he rode Quality Road. In May 2011, Velazquez riding Animal Kingdom won his first Kentucky Derby. Animal Kingdom was ridden by Velazquez again for the 136th Preakness Stakes, but he finished second. By October 2013, Velazquez was considered the all-time top money winner amongst jockeys from North America. At the Belmont race, he surpassed Pat Day, when he rode Bit Bustin, and Velazquez earnings after the race reached a record high of $297,922,320 in career purses. In 2014, Velazquez is considered the top money winner and the first jockey whose earnings have crossed $300 million.Continue reading "Who Is John Velazquez?"