John Velazquez

John Velazquez

Steven Heuertz

Velazquez to Ride at Saratoga Wednesday

He'll be aboard Stephanie's Kitten in the grade II Lake George at Saratoga.

Jockey John Velazquez, sidelined since fracturing his collarbone in a June 16 spill at Churchill Downs, will return to the races July 25 at Saratoga Race Course.

The 40-year-old native of Puerto Rico is named to ride Stephanie's Kitten in the $200,000 Lake George Stakes (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies.

“I am really excited to get back to the races,” said Velazquez, who is set for induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Aug.10. “It’s been five weeks since I last raced, and that's too long for me!”

Velazquez, who was Saratoga's leading rider last year with 54 wins, is currently in second all-time among jockeys in wins at Saratoga with 655 from 4,015 starts, 38 behind Jerry Bailey’s 693 victories.

“I’m going to take it a little slow at the start, so it might be difficult to catch Jerry this year,” said Velazquez. “I’ll hopefully get some nice winners and setting the record will come whenever it comes.”