07/29/2004 12:00AM

Velazquez gets 3,000th win


Special things continue to happen for John Velazquez at Saratoga.

Velazquez recorded his 3,000th career victory on Thursday, guiding Runingforpresident to a 3 3/4-length victory in Saratoga's second race. In 2001, Velazquez became the first jockey to win six races on one Saratoga card. Last year, Velazquez set a Spa record with 61 wins.

Fittingly, Velazquez's 3,000th came on a Todd Pletcher-trained horse. Velazquez and Pletcher have developed into racing's most dominant jockey-trainer combination since Pletcher began training in 1996. Velazquez achieved his 3,000th at the tender age of 32.

Velazquez wasted little time working on his next 3,000, as he won Thursday's fourth race aboard Miss Crafty Pal for trainer Allen Iwinski.