Jockey John Velazquez rolled through the first four races on the Aug. 19 card at Saratoga Race Course, racking up a quartet of wins in a stellar afternoon at the upstate New York track.
In race one, a 1 1/16-mile maiden contest on the turf, Velazquez swung four wide into the stretch aboard St Pancras ($6.80) before drawing clear to win by two lengths. In the day’s second race, the Proud Spell overnight stakes, he set the pace aboard Love and Pride ($5.80), who romped by 6 ¾ lengths. Race three was another front-running score aboard Bwana Babe ($12.80), while Moshe Diane ($10) prevailed in a stretch duel to take race four.
Velazquez, 39, sits comfortably atop the 2011 Saratoga jockey standings with 41 victories at the meet through Aug. 19. Javier Castellano, his nearest rival, has ridden 31 winners.
The four wins Velazquez picked up on Aug. 19 bring his lifetime total at Saratoga to 642, seven behind his agent and mentor, Angel Cordero, Jr., for second all-time in Saratoga wins wins.
Cordero finished his Hall of Fame career with 649 victories at Saratoga, while fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey sits atop the leader board with 693 visits to the track’s winner’s circle.
Velazquez is the career leader in purses earned at Saratoga, with more than $39 million and counting. Bailey is second all-time in purses with $38 million.