05/06/2011 11:07AM

Kentucky Derby: Velazquez to ride Animal Kingdom

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - John Velazquez will ride in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby after all.

Without a mount following the scratch of Uncle Mo on Friday, Velazquez was picked up by the connections of Animal Kingdom later in the morning, according to Barry Irwin, the president of the Team Valor Syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom.

Robby Albarado had been named to ride Animal Kingdom, but Irwin said that when Albarado did not ride at Churchill Downs on Thursday or Friday, owing to a fractured nose suffered Wednesday, that he desired instead to find another rider.

“We decided on Thursday night that if Robby couldn’t ride Friday we would try to get Velasquez if it turned out he was available,” Irwin said.