11/06/2011 2:27PM

Breeders' Cup: Velazquez wins Shoemaker Award as event's top jockey

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Tom Keyser
John Velazquez won two races on Friday's Breeders' Cup card, including Stephanie's Kitten in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Breeders’ Cup Ltd. announced Sunday that John Velazquez has been named the winner of the Bill Shoemaker Award for being the most outstanding jockey at the 2011 Breeders’ Cup. This is the second time that Velazquez, 39, has won the Shoemaker Award, having previously won it at Lone Star Park in 2004.

Velazquez rode two winners on the Friday card – Stephanie’s Kitten in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Perfect Shirl in the Filly and Mare Turf. On Saturday, he had seconds with Force Freeze in the Sprint and Birdrun in the Marathon, along with a third-place finish on Brilliant Speed in the Turf.

Velazquez was one of three jockeys to win as many as two of the 15 BC races. Mike Smith won the Sprint on Amazombie and the Classic on Drosselmeyer, while Corey Nakatani won the Juvenile Fillies with My Miss Aurelia and the Turf Sprint with Regally Ready.

The first Shoemaker Award was given to Alex Solis in 2003. Garrett Gomez has won the award four times, the most of any jockey.