Velazquez Gets First Win Since Returning

Velazquez Gets First Win Since Returning
Photo: Coglianese Photos
John Velazquez smiles after his win aboard Got Lucky.
Order This Photo

Jockey John Velazquez, coming back from a serious injury sustained last fall during the Breeders' Cup World Championships, got his first win in six tries at Gulfstream Park when 2-5 choice Got Lucky cruised to victory in the eighth race Jan. 29 (VIDEO).

The Hall of Fame rider had posted a pair of seconds since returning to the saddle but was able to celebrate a victory aboard Got Lucky following the one-mile maiden special weight event. The 3-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy scored by 5 1/4 lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher and the partnership that bred the filly, Hill 'N' Dale Equine Holdings and Philip J. Steinberg.

Velazquez has been easing back into the routine after having surgery to remove his spleen, the result of a bad fall at Santa Anita Park when Secret Compass broke down during the running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

"That was awesome," Velazquez said after delivering Got Lucky to the Gulfstream winner's circle. "It felt great. She's a nice horse. She's been in a stakes race already, so they really liked her from the beginning. She showed up out there today. When you get to ride horses like that, it makes it a lot easier for you."

Got Lucky broke a bit slowly, but made her way forward and had the lead by the time they hit the quarter pole. The dark bay splashed home on the sloppy, sealed main track well in front of Color Me Flying. She covered the mile in 1:38.39.

Got Lucky finished second to the highly regarded Penwith in a Belmont Park maiden test Oct. 27. Pletcher opted to send her to the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 30 and pulled off the exacta, as Got Lucky ran second by just a neck to stablemate Stopchargingmaria at Aqueduct Racetrack.

"We were pleased with her first start and had always been pretty high on the way she trains," Pletcher said. "A mile and an eighth seems like a natural for her pedigree, so we took a shot in (the Demoiselle) and she ran big.

"You're always worried about the first time on an off track, but her pedigree suggested she would handle it, and she did," Pletcher added. "I just wanted to bring her back in an easier spot than that and, hopefully, we can build on this one."

Got Lucky is the third foal from the winning Deputy Minister mare Malka, a sibling to graded stakes winners Accelerator, Daydreaming, and Girolamo  , all of whom were sired by A.P. Indy. Another half sister by that stallion, Supercharger, produced 2010 Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver  .
 

Most Popular Stories