- DRF Bets
- Handicapping & PPsHorsemen's ProductsReports
Access past performances
- The Wizard
- DRF Gameplan
- Quick Sheets
- DRF Picks
- Today's Racing Digest
- Key Race Report
- Positive ROI Report
- Moss Pace Figure Reports
- Debut Reports
- WE Handicapping Report
- Clocker Reports
Racing and Wagering InformationTools
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- DRF Classic PDF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF HarnessEye PPs
- DRF Daily Harness Program PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- NewsCategoriesTrack Notes
- StorePast PerformancesHarness PPsPackagesDRF PlusREPORTSPICKS
Belmont: Velazquez expects to resume riding Wednesday
ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey John Velazquez, who fractured a rib in a spill at Aqueduct on April 7, said everything is on schedule for him to return to the saddle next Wednesday, four days before he is to ride Verrazano in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Velazquez said Thursday that he is scheduled to meet with his orthopedist on Monday to get final clearance and he hopes to get on a horse or two Tuesday morning at Belmont.
In a phone interview Thursday, Velazquez said he is “doing really good” and that he has been working out for several days.
Velazquez said he will take it slow on his return, just as he did last summer at Saratoga when he returned from a seven-week layoff following a fractured collarbone sustained in a June spill at Churchill.
He plans to ride one horse Wednesday at Belmont, two horses Thursday at Belmont, three on Friday at Churchill – including Dreaming of Julia in the Kentucky Oaks – and four on Derby Day.
“I’m being realistic. I’m going to give 100 percent to every horse I’m riding,” Velazquez said. “I’m not going to ride three horses the first day and be tired by the time I get to the third one. I’m going to build my strength back little by little.”
Velazquez said he is committed to ride Point of Entry in the Woodford Reserve on Derby Day so if Wise Dan runs in that race, he will have to forego the mount on the reigning Horse of the Year. Jose Lezcano, who rode Wise Dan in Velazquez’s absent in the Maker’s 46 Mile, would most likely get that mount.
Speaking of commitments, Velazquez said that he was always committed to ride Verrazano in the Kentucky Derby and really didn’t have a decision to make between the undefeated Wood Memorial winner and Florida Derby winner Orb.
“We were already committed to Verrazano from the beginning,” he said. “We wound up on Orb and it was nice of Shug [McGaughey] to let me ride him. If something had happened to the other horse maybe I could have got back on him.”
Don't think this story is as simple as this. After being off for weeks and just getting back on horses Wednesday, there is no doubt that by Saturday he'll be sore. Maybe it will affect things maybe it won't. A top rider like him will push through it, but he'll be feeling it.
As strong of a relationship Johny has with Pletcher, Verrazno still is very impressive. Has anyone looked at that horse ? He has a better shot at KD than most of the people give him credit for. Johny made the right move overall. Pletcher supports him alot. And its natural for him to support Pletcher in KD.
When he got hurt, the news release stated he also had a serious wrist injury. It would seem to me that that would present more of a problem if it is not 100% okay on Derby day because the wrist Is the most important physical part of a jockey's ability to handle 1200 plus lbs of horse going 40mph. He didn't say anything about his wrist.
If I was McGaughey and I read those comments, id never ride Velazquez again. It's an insult to Shug and Orb's owners.
I like Johnny V, of course, but if he's rushing back to race in the Derby that could hurt the chances of some top horses that weekend.
I like the guy, but this is a bit of BS. Why did he say on live TV that he needed to take time to make a decision between Verrazano and Orb if he was already committed. In any event, I think he is on the wrong horse. Since breaking his maiden, Verrazano's distances have grown progressively longer while at the same time his winning margins have gotten smaller and his Beyers have gotten lower. I would be surprised if he liked a mile and a quarter, but I've been surprised before. If he can't handle the distance, I hope it's Orb who overtakes him, but this being the Derby, it will probably be a horse that I am not even contemplating. I think Orb looks like a true distance horse, but above all, I would love to see Shug win a Derby. I've been saying for weeks that THE race of the weekend is not the Derby, but the Oaks, which truly has an outstanding field. However, if Wise Dan attempts to take on Point of Entry in the Woodford, THAT will be the race of the weekend. At a mile, it's Wise Dan, at a mile and a quarter or longer, it's POE, but at a mile and an eighth, it's a contest.
@ this point in time he is the best Jockey in this nation...Period...
Welcome Back Johnnie V! Stay Blessed!
Always have enjoyed the love and devotion that JRV has provided the game which most of us love (and many embrase daily). It will be a sad, empty day when Johnny V hangs up his tack, many years from now. Have a healthy return and a great trip in the Derby.
No mater what horse Mr. Velazquez rides I am really impressed by the relationship he,Todd Pletcher & Angel Cordero keep.Appears to be a heck of a bond.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM