04/08/2013 7:43PM

Velazquez expects to make Derby after missing three weeks

Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey John Velazquez aboard Verrazano. Velazquez expects to resume riding in three weeks after suffering a non-displaced fractured rib in a spill Sunday at Aqueduct.

 Jockey John Velazquez, who suffered a fractured rib in a spill Sunday at Aqueduct, will not ride for the next three weeks, but he plans to return in time to ride the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

 In a text sent early Monday evening, Leona Velazquez, John’s wife, wrote that the “fracture is non-displaced so it will heal by itself in three weeks. He will start riding Derby week.”

 Which horse Velazquez will ride in the Kentucky Derby remains an unanswered question. Velazquez has ridden Verrazano to four victories in four starts - including Saturday’s $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct - and he has won two stakes including the Florida Derby on Orb. Verrazano is trained by Todd Pletcher while Orb is trained by Shug McGaughey, both of whom have been instrumental in Velazquez’s Hall of Fame career.

  Velazquez, 41, suffered a fractured rib on his right side and chipped a piece of bone in his right wrist when his mount, Katie Malone, clipped heels with another horse during the running of Aqueduct’s seventh race on Sunday.

 Velazquez was hospitalized for several hours Sunday, before being released that night. On Monday, he met with his orthopedist Dr. Stephen O’Brien.

 Velazquez won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom, a mount he picked up after Robby Albarado was injured in a paddock accident the week of the Derby. Velazquez’s scheduled mount for that Derby, Uncle Mo, was scratched after being entered due to illness.

fair and balanced More than 1 year ago
Tough break for JV, however, I'm sure Shug will have his replacement on Orb named by end of this week, particularly, when it was no done deal that he would ride him anyway. My guess Stephens, a veteran of many Derbys who won't move too soon. Big question is for Pletcher, does he wait until Derby week to find out if JV is 100%? I doubt it! If JV aint workingt horses in 2 weeks and looking sharp, another bet, he won't be on Veranno either. Can't imagine waiting until week before the race to find a jock who doesn't have a mount already and isn't commited to working that mount over the next weeks. Too bad, a Derby with no Ramone or Johnny V, two of the best in the game! Be interesting if Mike Smith could angle his way on one of these, been done before!
LARRY More than 1 year ago
I agree with David on having him bail on you due to injury the week of the derby... However, it puzzles me how Orb doesnt have a jockey for the Kentucky Derby yet?!!!!!!
David Alexander More than 1 year ago
Ribs are slow healing and painful.. Johnny V. is one of th 5 best around but will most likely be compromised because of the injury If i am Shug or Pletcher; I would shop around now. ( Javy C>, Jose Lez, Gary S., Rosie N., Kendrick C., .. Dave or divo80
Anita Carter More than 1 year ago
Hope to see you back riding better than ever. Get well soon.
Michael Mack More than 1 year ago
JR is really tough. His mentor appears to be Angel Cordero. That's not good. The class is modest I dunno. Baffert has so many. It's like betting an entry. The two races this weekend won't show us anything. The Illinois Derby, just for spite, will produce the Preakness winner. Where are the Affirmeds and Alydars?
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
I take him off Verrazano. I'm not going to be sitting in limbo with the best horse not knowing if my Jock will be ready or not. I get at least two Jocks to breeze the horse and see how they fit him. If one of them is Stevens and he fits him, I put Gary Stevens on the horse.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Gary's on Oxbow (at least for now).
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
Get well, John. TAKE your time. ***** After Ramon Domenguez's accident, DRF writers impatiently wrote scenarios into the script about his scheduled return, as if he had sprained an ankle. Hopefully, this won't happen twice.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
You gotta believe JV sticks with TP as those two have won a ton together...
Jd Staton More than 1 year ago
i feel bad for jonny. he wont ride the derby if hes not ready. and of corse if he does ride in the derby and doesnt win all these fools will be on here blaming him for riding to soon
Harvey Savitsky More than 1 year ago
Course/too n't etc!
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Harvey Savitsky More than 1 year ago
Jd Station- Spelling!!!
Harvey Savitsky More than 1 year ago
Joel Schiff More than 1 year ago
Wishing John Velazquez a speedy recovery. I hope you will be able to ride in the KY DY, and if so, choose the right one. You are my numero uno jockey!