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]