08/12/2013 5:05PM

Saratoga: Velazquez picks up mount on Fiftyshadesofhay

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Fiftyshadesofhay, the winner of the Iowa Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, will have John Velazquez aboard for Saturday's Grade 1 Alabama Stakes.

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Of the nine stakes John Velazquez has won at this meet, six have come for his primary client, trainer Todd Pletcher. On Saturday, Velazquez will be in the enemy camp when he rides Fiftyshadesofhay against the Pletcher-trained Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

“He was open,” trainer Bob Baffert said about using Velazquez, who from Aug. 3-11 won five graded events: the Whitney, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Hall of Fame, Fourstardave, and Saratoga Special.

Fiftyshadesofhay enters the Alabama off victories in the Black-Eyed Susan, under Joel Rosario, and Iowa Oaks, under Martin Garcia, both since blinkers were added.

On Monday, Fiftyshadesofhay completed her training for the Alabama with a five-furlong drill in 1:01 at Del Mar.

Fiftyshadesofhay is scheduled to leave for Saratoga on Wednesday on a flight that originates in California and stops in Chicago to drop off horses like Indy Point for the Arlington Million and Marketing Mix for the Beverly D.

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MICHAEL More than 1 year ago
Doesn't matter who rides. Chad Brown opted not to go with a filly who likely would've been 2nd choice in the betting since being trounced over the track in the Oaks, even after having a pace scenario her way. PoS will be 3 to 5 for a reason, which will be obvious after the race. She has been lightly raced and should be sitting on a big one. The rest of the field, if they are realistic, are simply trying to get G1 placed for added value in the breeding shed.
Ivette Pitre More than 1 year ago
Johnny V didn't always have TP horses so and there is a reason why he gets TP best horses. He's a hall of fame jockey so there SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mary More than 1 year ago
The headline should be how many lengths is she going to lose by to princess of sylmar
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
How much did you have on her for the KY Oaks??
mary More than 1 year ago
100$ WPS
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Thats why they run the race........we shall see. And Mary...........Fleetwood Mac sang ' tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies" LOL
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Why didn't Marteen Pedroza/Joe Steiner get the mount
Greg Michaels More than 1 year ago
You people are aqll nuts. Without Pletcher JV is a 10% rider at best.
john More than 1 year ago
Hey Greg, what's your point? Since Pletcher and JV are still together and winning lots and lots of races, why would you bring up a stat that isn't true.
prose More than 1 year ago
Why do you think Pletcher made JV his go-to rider in the first place? Because of his talent. If JV didn't win races and get out of a horse everything that could be got, Pletcher wouldn't use him. So your argument is flawed from the get-go.
David Sias More than 1 year ago
JV was picked up by TP because he is top tier. Can't understand your comment.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Greg is 100 percent correct. Not exactly the %10 win thing but the point is there are many jockeys that can ride TP horses and have JV win percentage. TP trains for millionaires who can purchase the top bred horses. Any decent professional jock would relish in that, Jr. Alvarado, Cornelio Velasquez, Shaun Bridgmohan and many others you never hear about. Even Decarlo and Napravnik win on Pletcher second stringers. Prove it to yourselves . Bet Johnny on all his non Pletcher mounts for 2 months and see how you do. Numbers won't lie.
Rafael Acosta More than 1 year ago
Yeah like Wise Dan, Point of Entry, Animal Kingdom and Boisterous--yep he's dependent on TP for all the good ones....
Mine thatbird More than 1 year ago
One of the best metrics for jockeys imo is how they perform on favorites. For example Ramon Dominguez, who was obviously great, had a comparatively high win % and good ROI on favorites during the last several years. John V. does a terrific job on favorites; winning 53% at current meet and ROI of 15% best right now of anyone with 15 starts on a favorite. That is why he is Pletchers go to rider.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
might be the other way around!
John Agnello More than 1 year ago
johnnie V continues to show me that he's the best of the best when it comes to being a WCJ. How he sits on a horse and his decision making, he's second to no one
seattle More than 1 year ago
Too many Fiftyshades horses. Confusing
Brian Healey More than 1 year ago
Too bad Johnny V wasn't on fiftyshadesofgold Sunday. He would have won by 5
Guy John More than 1 year ago
No kidding. With the way speed was playing on the inside Corey should have taken her to the front and not looked back.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Don't mean to be a pain but maybe next time you guys won't make the mistake of taking 1-4 on a two year old race.
Mike Funicello More than 1 year ago
Rosario is in Chicago for the Arlington Million
Walter More than 1 year ago
Why didn't Rosario keep this mount? Or, did he not have a choice?