John Velazquez

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Christmas Kid, Cotton Blossom Chase Acorn Victory

Christmas Kid, Cotton Blossom Chase Acorn Victory

Eighty minutes or so before the sport's top 3-year-olds battle it out in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, some of racing's fastest and classiest three-year-old fillies - including Christmas Kid, Cotton Blossom, and Boca Grande - will meet in the 77th running of the Acorn Stakes (gr. I).

Gallorette Handicap Could Be 'Catfight'

Precious Kitten, coming off a second-place finish in the April 14 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland, will face down A True Pussycat when a field of 11 fillies and mares goes postward for Saturday's 1/16-mile Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard.

Circular Quay Takes Orbit in Louisi

Circular Quay Takes Orbit in Louisi

Favored Circular Quay, able to avoid the traffic issues he encountered in the Risen Star (gr. III) one month ago, circled the field five wide coming off the far turn under John Velazquez and rallied impressively to win the $594,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Saturday.

Magna Graduate Aces Razorback Test

Magna Graduate Aces Razorback Test

Magna Graduate, trained by two-time Eclipse trainer Todd Pletcher and ridden by two-time Eclipse jockey John Velazquez, challenged the pacesetting Jonesboro at the head of the stretch, and drew off in the final furlong for a 1 3/4- length victory in the $150,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.

Circular Quay Leads Field for Louisiana Derby

Michael and Doreen Tabor's Circular Quay has been installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of eight 3-year-olds for the 94th running of the $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course March 10.

Scat Daddy's Late Scamper Wins Fountain of Youth

Scat Daddy's Late Scamper Wins Fountain of Youth

Scat Daddy, somewhat overlooked in trainer Todd Pletcher's rich stable for this year's Triple Crown trail, stormed from far back to tag the tough-luck loser Stormello by a nose in the final stride of Saturday's $350,000 Fountain of Youth (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

Richter Scale BC Owned by Half Ours

Favored Half Ours remained unbeaten in five starts when he staved off the hard-charging Park Avenue Ball in the closing strides to take the $225,000 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II) by a half-length at Gulfstream Park Saturday.

Guild: Parity, Solidarity, Political Action for 2007

The Jockeys' Guild has outlined a five-point plan for 2007 that primarily focuses on financial matters, but it also has made a strong call for solidarity among the membership and heightened political action in individual states and Washington, D.C.

Ready's Gal Makes Most of Matchmaker

The multiple graded stakes winner Ready's Gal, forwardly placed in Sunday's $150,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker (gr. IIIT), took the lead at the head of the stretch and held off the late challenge of Prop Me Up to win by a half-length on the Monmouth Park grass.

Manley Accepts Offer to Lead Jockeys' Guild

Manley Accepts Offer to Lead Jockeys' Guild

The Jockeys' Guild board met in a conference call with California sports agent Dwight Manley on Friday evening to accept his employment agreement to take over the top management post of the riders' organization.

Cotton Blossom Gets Pletcher Started at Spa

Cotton Blossom Gets Pletcher Started at Spa

Things haven't changed much at Saratoga Race Course, where the 138th season opened Wednesday. Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez were back in the winner's circle after Cotton Blossom won the $111,300 Schuylerville (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies before a crowd of 27,346.

Cotton Blossom Gets Pletcher Started at Spa

Cotton Blossom Gets Pletcher Started at Spa

Things haven't changed much at Saratoga Race Course, where the 138th season opened Wednesday. Trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez were back in the winner's circle after Cotton Blossom won the $111,300 Schuylerville (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies before a crowd of 27,346.

Sanford Test for Scat Daddy

After being a Thoroughbred trainer for 10 years, Todd Pletcher should be used to the racing spotlight. This is especially true at Saratoga Race Course, where he has been the leading trainer for the past four years and also holds the single-season win record.

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