03/12/2013 2:03PM

Gulfstream Park: Velazquez to ride Orb in Florida Derby

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Tom Keyser
Orb captured the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream in his last start.

John Velazquez is a man in demand these days. He is the regular rider for Verrazano, the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, and was being sought for mounts in several locales on March 30, when the Dubai World Cup is run in the United Arab Emirates the same day as the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park and the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, both $1 million preps for the May 4 Derby.

With all that from which to choose, Velazquez will remain in South Florida that day for the Florida Derby in order to ride Orb, the Fountain of Youth winner, his agent, Angel Cordero Jr., said Tuesday.

“We’re going to stay here,” Cordero said from Florida.

Velazquez rode Orb for the first time in the Fountain of Youth. Joel Rosario had ridden him in his first five starts, including to victories against maidens and in a first-level allowance in his two starts prior to the Fountain of Youth.

Orb, trained by Shug McGaughey, had his first work since the Fountain of Youth on Monday, when he went a half-mile in 48.40 seconds at the Payson Park training center in Florida.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shug will do what is best for the horse.( Win or Lose.) bet on it.
Gunner More than 1 year ago
Shug "knows" that JRV will follow instructions and just gallop the horse for a strong prep. (Like Orb needs to win the Florida Derby, lmao) The tri might might be nice, IF 1 of 3 make the tic. Ramon has suffered a catastrophic head injury and any speculation on him is, err, prematurely reprehensible. Then, again: Trainers, like breeders, go with the best and hope for the best. Get da feelin' things will sort themselves out - altho that won't satisfy the "genius class". Piece
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
One million reasons why.
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
Hopefully Ramon can make it back. JRV seems like the only rider anybody wants now.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Living under a rock Tom? Ever heard of Joel Rosario, Javier Castellano, Jose Lezcano, Luis Saez, Edgar Prado and the list goes on. Good horses make good riders.
WarChant More than 1 year ago
people are making too much of this. it's probably just rosario is committed to be in dubai and JV is available to ride the horse that day. JV will ride for pletcher in the derby
gallopingtom More than 1 year ago
Out of respect for the Phipps and Janneys it will be a lot tougher decision than most people think
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
JV will ride the horse that he and Angel Cordero think has the best chance to win the race. When it comes to the Kentucky Derby or anyother big money race all bets are off and everyone is out for themselves. If Verrazano is their livest ride into Louisville he will be the choice. Only Bill Shoemaker gives up live Kentucky Derby rides.
Tyren M More than 1 year ago
When will we have the conversation of Rosie N. leaving definite money in Louisiana just to lose the Florida Derby and possible mount on SB? After watching her on "Risen Star Day," I hope she gets the LA mounts back when they go to Kentucky, especially the LA Oaks hope.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I don't understand why the owners of Orb agreed to having Johnny V ride Orb knowing full well that he won't ride him in the Kentucky Derby! Wherever Verrazano goes - well, you know - "Here's Johnny!"
Bob More than 1 year ago
Why would Orb owner/trainer choose JV for Fl derby if he will be on a Pletcher horse in derby? New rider in Derby for Orb is not wise. None of the top 10 jockeys are better than the other. It is splitting hairs. JV, Rosario, Dominguez, Castellano, Smith. It doesn't matter . You need the horse.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
And top jocks know their horses
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Good horses make good riders, not the reverse.
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
One million reasons why.
Flipper More than 1 year ago
Rosario was already booked to ride AK, Dullahan and LM. Horse racing fans knows that Rosario is far better than Velasquez. If Pletcher gets run over by a truck, Velasquez and Castellano might as well ride at Turf Paradise or Los Alamitos. Rosario wins jockey titles without riding for Baffert and Pletcher and that is hard to do..you know that Adam.
Adam Levy More than 1 year ago
Rosario wins riding titles by riding Mitchell's 12.5 claimers... Wise Dan The Lumber Guy Point of Entry vs SWEET SHIRLEY MAE
Adam Levy More than 1 year ago
JR's Breeders Cup placings (NON Pletcher or Baffert Starters) vs Rosario's placings...good call Flipper
Flipper More than 1 year ago
Adam, Why do you think the owner of Vyjack made that call? Is he smart or what? You dont hit pick 6 for 3 mil for being dumb my friend. You may want to reconsider you options because the owner of that horse is smart. He knows Rosario is the best.
Sam More than 1 year ago
If Orb wins the Fla. Derby with ease, I wonder how JV would compare Orb to Verrazano?