John Velazquez

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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.

Magna Graduate Passes Excelsior BC Test

Corinthian, after jumping in the air at the start, never reached contention, leaving the Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) for second choice Magna Graduate under a picture perfect ride from John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher.

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, 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.

Wait's Worth it for Filly Champion in Honey Fox

Arindel Farm's Wait a While, last year's Eclipse Award winner as the nation's top 3-year-old filly, started her 2007 season in fine style, going virtually gate to wire to win the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) as the prohibitive favorite on the Gulfstream Park turf Sunday.

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.

Master Command Sails in Mineshaft Win

Odds-on choice Master Command left the tiring Purim approaching the eighth pole and cruised to victory in the $194,000 Mineshaft Handicap, the first of four successive grade III races on the Fair Grounds program Saturday.

Ramazutti Rumbles to Mac Diarmida Win

A change in his usual tactics contributed to a career-best effort for Anstu Stable's Ramazutti, a handy winner of Sunday's $150,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the Gulfstream Park lawn.

Bishop Court Hill Shows Way in Gravesend

Melnyk Racing Stables' speedy Bishop Court Hill took control of the $110,600 Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) coming away from the gate and rolled to a measured one-length victory under John Velazquez on the Aqueduct inner track Sunday.

Safari Queen Sails to La Prevoyante Romp

The Argentine-bred Safari Queen wasn't hindered in the least when Saturday's $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. III) was switched from the turf to a sloppy Calder main track, cruising to a front-running victory for trainer Todd Pletcher.

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.

High Winds Force Aqueduct to Cancel Again

High winds again forced the cancellation of racing at Aqueduct on Sunday afternoon after the first race. The horses were in the paddock for the second race when the announcement was made.

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