Velazquez

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Ashado Heads Pimlico BC Distaff Field

Ashado, who missed the Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby day because her trainer was not satisfied with her weight assignment, may run this Friday carrying that same 123 pounds.

Velazquez Unstoppable as Melhor Ainda Wins

Heavily favored Melhor Ainda rallied to a decisive victory in the $112,800 Appalachian Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Keeneland, giving jockey John Velazquez his eighth straight victory over a three-day period.

2004 Eclipse Award Jockey: John Velazquez

If one didn't get a sense of John Velazquez' inexorable climb to the top during his record-setting (65 winners) Saratoga meet last summer, then surely the pair of statues he earned on Breeders' Cup day made his star shine brighter than ever.

Velazquez Receives Shoemaker Award

Jockey John Velazquez, who won two races on Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Lone Star Park, was named recipient of the Shoemaker Award, voted on by the media covering the event.

Classy Speightstown Sizzles in Sprint

Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown roared to the front in early stretch, opened up a commanding lead, then held off the late run of Kela to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) by 1 ΒΌ lengths. The son of Gone West covered the six furlongs in 1:08.11.

Roses in May 1-2 Choice vs. Five in Ky. Cup Classic

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, winner of last month's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was installed the 1-2 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 118-pound starting highweight will break from post five and face just five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race that carries a purse of $350,000.

Roses in May 1-2 Choice Vs. Five in Ky. Cup Classic

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, winner of last month's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was installed the 1-2 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 118-pound starting highweight will break from post five and face just five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race that carries a purse of $350,000.

Strong Hope(s) Abound in Forego Handicap

Eleven older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's Forego Handicap (gr. I), the last grade I event on the Saratoga calendar as the 36-day meet draws to a close at the end of the Labor Day weekend. The highweight in the seven-furlong race is Strong Hope at 118 pounds.

Bear Fan Sets Track Record in Vagrancy

Smarty Jones will have to do a lot to win as impressively as Bear Fan. The 5-year-old mare set a track record in taking the Vagrancy (gr. II) by nine lengths in the first of six consecutive graded stakes today at Belmont Park that will culminate with a run for the Triple Crown.

Ashado Wins Kentucky Oaks

In a good betting race, the public was right in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), with favored Ashado winning the 130th running of the top race for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Churchill Downs.

Bird Town Edges Lady Tak in Exciting Acorn

Bird Town made the lead as they came out of the turn, and then held off a late charge from Lady Tak to win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) Friday at Belmont Park. It was the second straight grade I win for Bird Town, who won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) the day before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Record-Priced Juvenile Wins Flash Stakes

Chapel Royal showed the brilliance that may help him earn back his record purchase price, the $1.2 million juvenile easily winning the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park Friday over just three opponents.

Roar Emotion Takes Black-Eyed Susan

Roar Emotion led every step of the way, and held off a late charge from Fircroft, to take the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) by a half-length Friday at Pimlico. Favored Santa Catarina ran third.

Saarland Returns a Winner at Aqueduct

Making his first start since finishing tenth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 4, Saarland surged past pacesetter Short Hair in mid-stretch and continued on comfortably to the wire to win the sixth race at Aqueduct on Friday, a one mile allowance contest.

Queen Bee

Things were back to normal for the Edward P. "Ned" Evans stable on June 22. After pulling off the rare feat (for him) of winning two consecutive stakes with colts, Evans and trainer Mark Hennig returned to their filly factory and sent out the queen bee, Raging Fever, for another victory in a filly and mare stakes.

Another Spill at Belmont; Pleasant County Dies

John Velazquez, who was involved in a spill on Friday, was involved in another on Saturday at Belmont Park. Velazquez took off his first three mounts Saturday, then in his first mount back, fell aboard Imadeed as the horses hit the three-sixteenths pole in the Belmont Stakes Day fourth race, the WNBC.

Left Bank Wins, Then Dumps Velazquez

Michael Tabor's Left Bank pressed the early pace then inched clear to win Saturday's $105,900 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park. Just after crossing the finish line Left Bank ducked, unseating jockey John Velazquez.

Injured Sharp Performance Recuperating

The racing career of William Bloom's Sharp Performance, who suffered severe soft tissue damage to both front legs in Saturday's Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct, is over. The four-year-old son of Kris S. is stabilized and resting in Donk's Belmont Park barn.

Pyrus Edges Proud Man in Fort Marcy

Pyrus edged Proud Man by a neck Saturday in the grade III $112,100 Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct. Pyrus, ridden by Edgar Prado and carrying 113 pounds, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.53 on the yielding turf course.

Favored He's a Knockout Spoils Invisible Ink's Return

Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Invisible Ink finished second in his 4-year-old debut Wednesday at Gulfstream Park. Invisible Ink finished 4 3/4 lengths behind 9-5 favorite He's a Knockout in the seven-furlong optional claiming/allowance race.

Hook and Ladder Climbs Back at Gulfstream

Hook and Ladder aims to maintain his perfect record over the Gulfstream Park track against eight foes Sunday in the $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III) at six and a half furlongs. The 13th running of the Deputy Minister offers a winner's prize of $60,000 and drew a field of nine, three of them unbeaten over the track.

Maybry's Boy Closes for Spectacular Bid Win

Maybry's Boy closed from seventh-place to win the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) on opening day of the 2002 Gulfstream Park meeting. One race earlier on the card, Bill Mott-trained 3-year-old Blue Burner earned a victory in a mile and 70 yard allowance race.

From the Print Edition: Bank Heist in New York

New York has seen one of the mildest autumns on record, with temperatures often swelling into the 60s and even 70s. How mild was it on Nov. 24? It was so mild that the strongest wind was provided by Michael Tabor's Left Bank, who blew away his opponents to win the $350,000 Cigar Mile (gr. I) in a spectacular 1:33.35. On a day when horses basically were plodding home in slow times, Left Bank flew home as if caught up in some sudden squall.

From the Print Edition: Tragedy in the Matriarch

There were no fractures, deep wounds, or even sore muscles. As concerned peers drifted in and out of the Hollywood Park jockeys' room following the tragic conclusion of the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) on Nov. 25, Mike Smith admitted to having a single pain. "Just a broken heart."

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