Jockeys John Velazquez, Edgar Prado and Jerry Bailey, the nation's three leaders in purse earnings this year, will leave their New York base to ride in the Turf Festival at Hollywood Park next weekend.Velazquez is setting the pace with earnings of more than $21.5 million, followed by Prado with about $17.5 million and Bailey with nearly $15 million.All three have mounts in the $500,000 Matriarch and $500,000 Hollywood Derby, the grade I co-features next Sunday. The festival also includes four other turf stakes on Friday and Saturday.In the Matriarch for fillies and mares at one mile on turf, trainer Bobby Frankel has named Prado on Etoile Montante and Bailey on Juddmonte Farms stablemate Intercontinental. Velazquez will ride Ocean Drive for trainer Todd Pletcher.In the Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles on turf, Prado will ride Greek Sun for Frankel, Bailey will be aboard Good Reward for Shug McGaughey and Velazquez has taken a call on Timo for Billy Badgett.Prado will also be at Hollywood Saturday to ride for Frankel in two stakes. He will probably be aboard Nothing to Lose in the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 1/16 miles and Vitruvian in the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds.
For a jockey who rides infrequently in California, Velazquez has enjoyed remarkable Turf Festival success with six victories. They include Hollywood Derby victories aboard Marlin in 1996 and Vergennes in 1998 and Matriarch triumphs aboard Starine in 2001 and Heat Haze in 2003.