John Velaqzuez

John Velaqzuez

Coady Photography/Keeneland

Velazquez Expects Full Recovery from Injuries

Jockey injured during accident in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Jockey John Velazquez, who is recuperating from injuries suffered Nov. 2 when when his mount Secret Compass broke down during the running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), reports he expects a full recovery.

"I really wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes," Velazquez said in a statement released by the Jockeys' Guild, of which he is chairman. "I really appreciate it. I'm doing well and looking forward to a full recovery." 

"Thankfully, the paramedics were there to work on me right away and made the decision to go to a trauma hospital. That helped saved my life," Velazquez said of the incident at Santa Anita Park.

After the accident, Velazquez was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., where a trauma team went to work. It was quickly determined he had severe internal injuries and within minutes was taken in for emergency surgery. Surgeons removed Velazquez's spleen and repaired a damaged pancreas.

"The doctors, my nurses in ICU, and entire staff were excellent," Velazquez said in the statement, specifically mentioning Drs. Brian Lugo and Jonathan Phillips. "They took really good care of me."

Velazquez spent five days in the hospital and another five days in California before returning home to New York. 

In addition to his medical providers, Velazquez said he was appreciative of the assistance he received from trainer Bob Baffert and his wife, Jill, from Breeders' Cup officials including president Craig Fravel, and Secret Compass' owner Scott Ford.