08/05/2011 4:17PM

Saratoga: Velazquez on Rattlesnake Bridge in Travers


John Velazquez, who won the Kentucky Derby aboard the now-sidelined Animal Kingdom, will ride Rattlesnake Bridge in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 27 at Saratoga, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed Friday.

Velazquez replaces Eddie Castro, who rode Rattlesnake Bridge to victory in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth on July 9.

“We have a tough time getting Johnny,” McLaughlin said. “He won on this horse first time out, and the next time he ran it was against Uncle Mo. For different reasons he really didn’t have a rider going into the Long Branch. We were shopping, and Eddie Castro came available very late. We were happy to have him. He rode him great. When you can get Johnny, you hate to leave him in the room or have somebody else take him.”

Castro will ride Raison d’Etat, the runner-up in the Curlin Stakes, in the Travers.