05/10/2011 2:38PM

Velazquez and Irwin agree to share Kentucky Derby winnings with Albarado


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – John Velazquez is sharing an unspecified percentage of his winnings from the 137th Kentucky Derby with fellow jockey Robby Albarado, whom he replaced Saturday in winning the race aboard Animal Kingdom. In addition, Barry Irwin, who manages the Team Valor International partnership which owns Animal Kingdom, is matching the amount that Velazquez is giving Albarado.

Irwin announced Tuesday that Albarado “is being taken care of” in the aftermath of bad feelings that emanated from the series of events that unfolded prior the Derby. Albarado suffered a broken nose and other facial injuries in a pre-race accident Wednesday at Churchill, then took off his mounts Thursday and Friday to heal up for Saturday. On Friday morning, however, Irwin announced that he was not comfortable with Albarado staying aboard Animal Kingdom and replaced him with Velazquez, who had become available with the defection of Uncle Mo from the Derby field.

“Obviously we don’t feel that good about all that happened,” said Irwin. “I don’t think it would be appropriate to disclose the amount of money that’s involved.”

Albarado won the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on Saturday aboard Sassy Image, the longest shot in the field.

The winner’s share of the Kentucky Derby purse was $1,411,800, meaning that the standard 10 percent earned by Velazquez was $141,180. Jockeys typically pay their agents 25 or 30 percent of their earnings. Irwin said Velazquez’s agent, Angel Cordero Jr., will be paying the same percentage of his winnings to Albarado, too.

The only obligation that Team Valor had toward compensating Albarado was the jockeys’ mount fee, which in the case of the Derby is $500.

A text message seeking comment from Albarado was not immediately returned Tuesday. He said in published reports following the Derby that although he congratulated the connections of Animal Kingdom on their victory, he felt his plan to heal up for Saturday by taking off his mounts the two previous days “backfired” on him.

Albarado, who rides regularly at Churchill, has never won the Derby. The Derby win was the first for the New York-based Velazquez.