John Velazquez

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Munnings Brushes Off His Tom Fool Foes

Munnings Brushes Off His Tom Fool Foes

Everything went Munning's way in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park July 5. First, top sprinter Fabulous Strike, the heavy favorite, was scratched by trainer Todd Beattie. Then came a perfect trip for jockey John Velazquez, who drove the sharp 3-year-old colt through an inside gap at the top of the stretch on their way to a comfortable win.

Ward Does it Again at Royal Ascot

Just 24 hours earlier, trainer Wesley Ward had warned that Jealous Again was much better than his historic Windsor Castle Stakes winner Strike The Tiger and on June 17 the 2-year-old Trippi filly proved these were not empty words when bolting from the gate to go clear of her rivals in the five-furlong Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot before kicking on again for an easy five-length victory.

Quality Road Out of Derby Contention

Quality Road Out of Derby Contention

Quality Road, who figured to be among the top choices for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will not start in the Run for the Roses, it was confirmed Monday morning by Chris Baker, farm manager of Edward Evans' Spring Hill Farm. Jockey John Velazquez will now ride Mr. Hot Stuff.

Inaugural Jockey Challenge Scheduled

Inaugural Jockey Challenge Scheduled

Eight of the nation's top jockeys, including Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux, Edgar Prado, Garrett Gomez, and John Velazquez, will square off in the inaugural Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Race Course May 15, the day before the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

Velazquez Wins George Woolf Award

Velazquez Wins George Woolf Award

John Velazquez, a native of Puerto Rico and a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey, has been selected by a vote of his peers as the 2009 winner of the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The Woolf Announcement was made Feb. 19 on HRTV by retired Hall of Fame jockey and past Woolf winner Gary Stevens.

Jockeys' Guild Updates Membership

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Jockeys' Guild Updates Membership

Jockeys from a majority of the leading tracks in the United States gathered in Las Vegas in the past two days to hear updates on Jockeys' Guild initiatives at the annual meeting of the Guild.

Raven Run: Informed Decision Sets Record

Raven Run: Informed Decision Sets Record

George Strawbridge Jr.'s Informed Decision took advantage of blazing fractions in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (gr. II), as the 3-year-old Monarchos filly came from off the pace, took control in mid-stretch and drew away to win by 4 1/4 lengths under John Velazquez while setting a new course record on the Keeneland Polytrack Oct. 18.

Alwajeeha Takes QE II Under Velazquez

Alwajeeha Takes QE II Under Velazquez

Shadwell Stable's Alwajeeha stalked the pace under John Velazquez, took over coming out of the turn, and held off a host of rivals to win the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) by 1 1/4 lengths Oct. 11 at Keeneland. The victory was especially sweet for Velazquez, who was involved in a bad spill just eight days before in Lexington.

Jockey Health Info System Launched

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InCompass Solutions announced Oct. 10 hat it had launched the Jockey Health Information System, a database that will store jockeys' updated medical histories and make it possible for emergency medical personnel at racetracks to instantly access that information in the event of injury.

Velazquez Rests After Hospital Release

Velazquez Rests After Hospital Release

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.

Velazquez Hospitalized After Bad Spill

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Velazquez Hospitalized After Bad Spill

Jockey John Velazquez was transported to the trauma unit at the University of Kentucky Medical Center Oct. 3 with injuries suffered when his mount fell in the seventh race at Keeneland.

Red Giant Wins Fourstardave at the Wire

Red Giant Wins Fourstardave at the Wire

A nearly 10-month layoff did not seem to bother Peachtree Stable's Red Giant, as the 4-year-old colt powered down the stretch under John Velazquez and caught Stalingrad just before the wire to win the $150,000 Fourstardave (gr. IIT) by a neck Aug. 2 on the Saratoga turf.

Indian Blessing Cruises in Test

Indian Blessing Cruises in Test

Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred filly Indian Blessing, who began her remarkable career almost a year ago by breaking her maiden at Saratoga, returned for the first time Aug. 2 in the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) and like she did in her debut, destroyed the competition. This time, the 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie won by seven lengths to earn the fourth grade I victory of her career.

Jocks, 6th Graders Battle in Round Ball

Jocks, 6th Graders Battle in Round Ball

In an effort to raise money for The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, the Race Track Chaplaincy of New York has organized a basketball game between members of the Saratoga jockey colony and the Texas Titans, a 6th grade Texas-based AAU team.

Prioress: Indian Blessing Back On Top

Prioress: Indian Blessing Back On Top

Cutting back to six furlongs, Hal and Patti Earnhardt's Eclipse Award-winning filly Indian Blessing returned to the winner's circle for the first time since February, as she took over at the top of the stretch and drew away for a convincing five-length score in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 5 in the mud at Belmont Park.

Derby Promotion Raises Funds for Charity

Derby Promotion Raises Funds for Charity

A Kentucky Derby Day promotion facilitated by NetJets, the Jockeys' Guild, Churchill Downs, and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association has raised $500,000 to benefit the NTRA Charities - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Jockey John Velazquez will present the gift to representatives of the fund the morning of May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.

Take Charge Lady Filly Wins in Debut

Take Charge Lady Filly Wins in Debut

During her racing days, Take Charge Lady was known as the "Queen of Keeneland." That moniker was branded as a result of the Dehere filly winning the Alcibiades (gr. II), Ashland (gr. I), as well as the Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on two occasions. So it was only fitting that the first foal out of the remarkable Take Charge Lady made her debut at the Lexington racetrack. And, it was also fitting that the regally-bred filly won.

Inside Track: Safety First

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Inside Track: Safety First

by Erin Nuckols - In 1986, Art Gray watched one of his closest friends -- driver William "Billy" Haughton -- die due to injuries suffered in a harness racing collision at Yonkers Raceway. The accident happened about two months after another driver, Dave Dunckley, was killed at Roosevelt Raceway in a similar type of accident.

Patience Pays Off for Mushka

Patience Pays Off for Mushka

Mushka's future looks bright after she came from last to first to win Aqueduct's $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) by 4 1/2 lengths Nov. 24.

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