John Velazquez

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Derby Promotion Raises Funds for Charity

Derby Promotion Raises Funds for Charity

A Kentucky Derby Day promotion facilitated by NetJets, the Jockeys' Guild, Churchill Downs, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has raised $500,000 to benefit the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Jockey John Velazquez will present the gift to representatives of the fund the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.

Take Charge Lady Filly Wins in Debut

Take Charge Lady Filly Wins in Debut

During her racing days, Take Charge Lady was known as the "Queen of Keeneland." That moniker was branded as a result of the Dehere filly winning the Alcibiades (gr. II), Ashland (gr. I), as well as the Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on two occasions. So it was only fitting that the first foal out of the remarkable Take Charge Lady made her debut at the Lexington racetrack. And, it was also fitting that the regally-bred filly won.

Inside Track: Safety First

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Inside Track: Safety First

by Erin Nuckols - In 1986, Art Gray watched one of his closest friends -- driver William "Billy" Haughton -- die due to injuries suffered in a harness racing collision at Yonkers Raceway. The accident happened about two months after another driver, Dave Dunckley, was killed at Roosevelt Raceway in a similar type of accident.

Patience Pays Off for Mushka

Patience Pays Off for Mushka

Mushka's future looks bright after she came from last to first to win Aqueduct's $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) by 4 1/2 lengths Nov. 24.

Now a Victor Triumphs in Discovery

Now a Victor Triumphs in Discovery

Now a Victor stalked the pace under John Velazquez and then wore down longtime leader Shopton Lane in the final sixteenth of a mile to take the $100,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) by a length on the main track at Aqueduct on Nov. 24.

Commentary: It's About Health

By - John Velazquez - Recently, the Jockeys' Guild has taken two critical actions we believe will strengthen the organization for the long term. In addition, the state of California has enacted legislation vital to jockeys and the Guild.

English Channel Breaks Through in Turf

English Channel Breaks Through in Turf

English Channel pulled away from a tight pack coming out of the final turn and exploded through the stretch to win his first $3 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in three tries, beating a field that included European star Dylan Thomas.

The Green Monkey Finishes Third in First Start

The Green Monkey Finishes Third in First Start

It was an inauspicious racing debut for The Green Monkey, who brought a world record $16-million at auction last year. The colt finished third, beaten seven lengths by the winner, Roi Maudit, in the fourth race at Belmont Park Sept. 15.

Two Jockeys Hurt, Horses Euthanized in Belmont Spill

Two Jockeys Hurt, Horses Euthanized in Belmont Spill

Two horses were euthanized and two riders were transported to the hospital after a spill in the fifth race at Belmont Park Sept. 13. They were Unrestricted, ridden by Javier Castellano, and Gruffles, under John Velazquez.

Meeting with NYRA Starters, Jockeys at Saratoga a Success

An Aug. 9 meeting among members of the racing industry and jockeys at Saratoga Race Course was a deemed a success by Bruce Johnstone, the New York Racing Association's manager of racing relations, as discussions took place over the recent issues before the starts of several races at the New York oval.

A Day At The Spa: Aug. 9, Hey Javier!

See the twisted figure standing near the Oklahoma track? Yes, that's Javier Castellano, and it looks like he's attempting to master some absurd Yoga pose as he bends over backward with hands clasped above his head.

Octave Scales New Heights in CCA Oaks

Octave Scales New Heights in CCA Oaks

There may have been questions about Octave's winning desire after five consecutive runner-up efforts dating back to last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). But not after the quality filly made it back-to-back grade I victories Saturday in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.

Indian Vale Slips Away in Fleur de Lis

Indian Vale Slips Away in Fleur de Lis

Melnyk Racing Stables' homebred Indian Vale, responding well to strong left-handed urging from John Velazquez, edged away from Asi Siempre in the final stages to win the $327,600 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Pletcher Pair Head Foster Line-Up

Following his win with Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), trainer Todd Pletcher has reloaded and sends out two horses, Master Command and Magna Graduate, who have big shots to take down Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

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.

Audacious Chloe Works Hard to Win Appalachian

Strong favorite Audacious Chloe led the field every step of the way to win the $115,700 Appalachian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the Keeneland turf course Sunday, handing the dominating duo of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez one more stakes victory.

Master Command Dominates 3 Rivals in NJC 'Cap

Aaron and Marie Jones' Master Command made short work of three overmatched rivals when he drew off to win the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne by a convincing 3 3/4 lengths Saturday, helping him to eclipse $1 million dollars in earnings.

Pletcher, Velasquez Win Gulfstream Park Titles

Gulfstream Park closes its 2007 racing season Sunday with Eclipse-winning trainer Todd Pletcher capturing his fourth consecutive title at the South Florida track. Jockey Cornelio Velasquez has sealed his first riding title.

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