Jockey John Velazquez

Jockey John Velazquez

Steven Heuertz

No Surgery on Collarbone for Jockey Velazquez

Doctors estimate 4-6 week recovery period for Belmont Stakes winner.

Jockey John Velazquez will not require surgery on a broken right collarbone sustained in a June 16 riding accident at Churchill Downs, according to a medical update issued June 21 by his wife, Leona Velazquez.

"After conferring with two different doctors in New York, we’ve learned that Johnny will not have to undergo surgery on his broken collarbone," Leona Velazquez said in a Jockeys' Guild release. "Physicians say his collarbone should heal in 4-6 weeks.”

Velazquez is chairman of the Guild and a two-time Eclipse Award winner whose most recent high-profile victory came aboard Union Rags  in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He was injured at Churchill when the horse he was riding, Mr. Producer, broke a left front cannon bone and fell, throwing Velazquez into the path of a following horse.

Mr. Producer was euthanized and Velazquez was transported to Audubon Hospital in Louisville, where he remained for three days with the collarbone injury and a traumatized kidney. 

“He will go back to the doctor in two weeks for X-rays so doctors can check the progress of his healing," Leona Velazquez reported. "Assuming satisfactory progress, Johnny will begin physical therapy at that time.

“Again, we greatly appreciate the many people who have offered well wishes. Johnny will take it easy to let his injuries heal, and he’s anxious to get back to the track as soon as possible.”