John Velazquez

John Velazquez

Coglianese Photos

Velazquez Rests After Hospital Release

He is resting after his release from the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Jockey John Velazquez was resting in good condition at a Lexington hotel Oct. 4 following his release from the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He was hospitalized a day earlier when he suffered a serious concussion in a spill at Keeneland Race Course.

"All the CAT scans and x-rays were clear, which, of course, they were delighted with – and we were too," said the jockey's wife, Leona Velazquez, who flew in from New York late Friday night after Velazquez was sent to UK's trauma center. "Nothing was broken or fractured, he has a headache and he'll be a little body sore from hitting the ground so hard, but other than that he was very fortunate to come away with a concussion only."

Velazquez was knocked unconscious when his mount, Tap Dancing, fell during Keeneland's seventh race Oct. 3. With slightly more than an eighth of a mile remaining in the 6 1/2-furlong race, Whacka Whacka, ridden by Jamie Theriot, clipped heels with Rapid Mon and fell. Tap Dancing and Velazquez, unable to avoid the incident, also fell. The jockey has no memory of the accident.

"There was a lot of concern because he as knocked unconscious," Leona Velazquez said. "Of course, when something like that happens, your instinct is to get up and he wanted to get up but he was dazed and then he passed out, so they were worried about that."

Theriot, 29, was not injured and was cleared to ride by medical personnel. He went to Hoosier Park in Indiana later that day, where he finished third in the Indiana Oaks (gr. III) aboard Dubai Majesty.

Velazquez, 37, is a two-time Eclipse Award winner. He currently ranks as North America's sixth-leading rider by earnings and 10th leading rider by wins.

According to Leona Velazquez, the jockey hopes to fly back to New York on Sunday and could return to racing at Belmont Park as early as Oct. 8.  

Track veterinarians said horses involved in the incident were not seriously injured.