11/03/2013 4:13PM

Velazquez's injuries will keep him sidelined for rest of year

Barbara D. Livingston
John Velazquez was injured when Secret Compass, his mount in the BC Juvenile Fillies, broke down. He is expected to be hospitalized for at least another four or five days.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will remain in a Pasadena hospital for four or five more days after undergoing emergency surgery Saturday afternoon to remove his spleen, according to his agent, Angel Cordero Jr.

In addition to having his spleen removed, Velazquez needed fluid drained from his pancreas, according to Cordero, who has kept in contact with Leona Velazquez, Johnny’s wife.

“They might let him out in four or five days if everything goes well,” Cordero said. “It’s nothing life-threatening.”

Cordero said doctors at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena were trying to manage Velazquez’s pain as he suffers bad reactions to morphine. In a text, Leona Velazquez wrote, “he is resting pretty good now. Trying to keep the pain at bay, but doc is happy with him.”

Velazquez was injured when his mount, Secret Compass, suffered a fatal breakdown leaving the three-eighths pole of Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.

Velazquez did not sustain any fractured bones, as X-rays taken were negative.

It is too early to know how much time Velazquez will miss, but Cordero said that he would not ride the remainder of 2013. Cordero said Velazquez was planning to take some time off following the Thanksgiving Day weekend card at Aqueduct.

Cordero said he himself had his spleen removed when he was riding, but that occurred in a spill in which he sustained other injuries - including a broken leg - that kept him out six months.

Velazquez was enjoying an Eclipse Award type year with 54 stakes wins, 37 in graded events - both tops among North American-based riders. He is the third leading rider in the country in purse money won with $19.3 million.

Earlier this year, Velazquez became North America’s all-time winningest rider in purse money won. In July, he won his 5,000th career race and in August he became the all-time winningest rider at Saratoga in terms of wins.

Velazquez turns 42 on Nov. 24.


Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Get well, Johnny. Hope to see you back on board early next year.
Jeanette Jordan More than 1 year ago
RIP Secret Compass.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Devastating accident.
jefftune More than 1 year ago
Prayers going out to Johnny and hoping for a speedy recovery!
Bob Adams More than 1 year ago
Johnny V my prayers are with you and your family, speedy recovery. We cannot have fathers and husbands or wives and mothers risking their life every time they take a leg up on a horse when this sport has no unified medication rules, the time is now. for all jurisdictions either anti-in or bow out. I could be out in left field but the CHRB has still not ruled on Baffert and how did Cibelli and Navarro almost pull a rabbit out of the hat on their suspensions so they could continue to send horses post ward. The sport needs to really place it's best foot forward.
RayC More than 1 year ago
RayC More than 1 year ago
Best to you
Lynne Veitch More than 1 year ago
Sad they couldn't get through B.C. days without a fatality. So unfortunate when 2yr' olds break down. Glad rider will be OK though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The AP article made all aware of the 1st race breakdown.Yet they don't mention the New Mexico debacle started Fri Nov 1.
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
get well soon johnny "v"
michael More than 1 year ago
get well soon john. so sad to see secret compass in picture before tragedy. we need to figure out why this happened. sa track may have injured gods,creature.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
hope jv is ok, only after all of us who wagered on LIFE AT TEN recover from our injuries. his lack of effort and consideration for the public has infuriated me and it is now 3 years later. one thing for sure he was never going to get hurt on life at ten after he walked her through the the distaff. and i agree with mark below what about the horse
nadjasrce More than 1 year ago
u r sick
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
if somebody piks your picket are you ging to wish them well, i dont think so. he made a bad descision and it cost the public millions,i could care less about him,hipe he retires,ask john vietch how he feels about jv
nadjasrce More than 1 year ago
who cares how j vietch feels, he made worst decision not sending that horse to test barn or he is the one who can declare her nonstarter!!Jonny Velazquez is a rider and he admitted and paid fine for not pulling her up, and he is hard working guy that broth nothing but good to the our great sport, dude is a living legend