Tag: John Velazquez

Lord North took command of last year's Prince of Wales's Stakes. Yet he's not the favorite for Wednesday's lone Group 1 race at Royal Ascot. (Image: Racenews)

Can Defending Champion Lord it Over Love in Prince of Wales’s Stakes?

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes gives you defending champion Lord North with leading jockey Frankie Dettori and standout trainer John Gosden getting an assist from his son, Thady. What could possibly go wrong for the 5-year-old gelding in Royal Ascot’s Day 2 marquee race? Well, that’s what Love’s got to […]

Essential Quality's Blue Grass Stakes wire victory over Highly Motivated was the Champion 2-Year-Old's fifth consecutive win. After finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, the colt seeks to rebound as the 2/1 morning-line favorite in the 153rd Belmont Stakes. (Image: Kentuckyderby.com)

Essential Quality Returns to Triple Crown Trail as Belmont Stakes Favorite

Essential Quality duplicated the favorite status he enjoyed for the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago, taking 2/1 morning-line favorite odds into Saturday’s 153rd Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Tuesday morning’s Belmont Stakes draw put the Brad Cox-trained, Tapit progeny in post 2. He’s one of four Grade 1 winners and […]

Monmouth Park riding legend Joe Bravo won't go for his 14th Monmouth Park riding title this season. He's boycotting the Jersey Shore track over the state's new riding crop law. (Image: Pat Healy Photography)

Monmouth Park Threatens Jockeys with Ban if They Skip Opening Day

Monmouth Park management fired the latest salvo in the New Jersey track’s ongoing battle with its jockeys when it said riders refusing to accept mounts for Friday’s opening day will be forbidden from riding at Monmouth Park for the duration of the meet. This latest salvo, coming hours before Tuesday’s […]

With his Kentucky Derby-champion mount Medina Spirit out, John Velazquez will ride Rombauer in the June 5 Belmont Stakes. (Image: AP File Photo)

Velazquez Takes Rombauer’s Reins for the Belmont, No Midnight Bourbon

With no Medina Spirit, Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will take Rombauer’s reins for the June 5 Belmont Stakes. The Daily Racing Form reported that trainer Mike McCarthy grabbed Velazquez’s services for the Belmont. He’ll take the reins from Flavien Prat, who returned to the horse he rode in […]

Rombauer and Flavien Prat captured the 146th Preakness Stakes with a closing flourish that belied their 11/1 odds. It was Prat's second Triple Crown race victory, following his promoted Kentucky Derby win aboard Country House in 2019. (Image: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Improbable Rombauer Turns in a Vintage Preakness Performance

Rombauer, the horse named after a vineyard, now goes by the new name: Preakness Stakes champion. And Rombauer, the horse named after the Napa Valley vineyard, wasn’t supposed to run the Preakness because he wasn’t supposed to run the race that got him into the Preakness. He wasn’t supposed to […]

It's been a wild week for Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness Stakes morning-line favorite Medina Spirit. But the colt has no idea what controversy is. (Image: Maryland Jockey Club)

It’s Been A Spirited Week: Breaking Down the 2021 Preakness Stakes

Before we break down the field for the second jewel of the Triple Crown, we’ll dispense with the news everyone waited for concerning Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Both Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and Concert Tour passed their three pre-race drug tests, meaning they […]

Medina Spirit and John Velazquez illustrate their tenacity in deep stretch, holding off Mandaloun to capture the 147th Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

The 2021 Derby: 12/1 Medina Spirit wins Baffert His Record Seventh

The primary lesson coming out of the 2021 Kentucky Derby is as simple as it is frustrating for everyone not named Bob Baffert. Even when Baffert brings his third-string horse to Churchill Downs, he wins Derbies. That would be Medina Spirit, who gave Baffert his seventh Derby victory Saturday, passing […]

Umberto Rispoli is one of the top riders in North America. The Italian jockey won't ride in the Saudi Cup due to changing COVID-19 testing protocols. (Image: Hong Kong Jockey Club)

New COVID Protocols Scratch Saudi Cup Jockeys Rispoli, Velazquez

Star jockeys Umberto Rispoli and John Velazquez lost their mounts for Saturday’s $20 million Saudi Cup after Saudi race organizers abruptly changed their COVID-19 testing protocols. That takes Rispoli off Max Player and removes Velazquez from Tacitus. Rispoli had three mounts on the Saudi Cup card, including Cowan in the […]

Winning the Breeders' Cup Classic two months after capturing the Kentucky Derby likely made Authentic the Horse of the Year. The 50th Eclipse Awards will be announced Jan. 28. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Authentic, Improbable, Monomoy Girl Head Eclipse Awards Finalists

Horse of the Year candidates Authentic, Improbable, and Monomoy Girl headline the finalists for the 2020 Eclipse Awards, announced Saturday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), and the Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards get their name from the iconic 18th-century racehorse and […]

Kendrick Carmouche still hasn't come down from his first Grade 1 win, piloting True Timber to the Cigar Mile winner's circle last Saturday. Carmouche won his first NYRA riding title during Aqueduct's fall meet. (Image: Eclipse Sportswire)

Carmouche Breaks Into Big Time with First NYRA Riding Crown

Between 2008 and 2011, Kendrick Carmouche won seven riding titles at Parx, outside Philadelphia, staking his claim as that track’s dominant jockey and earning a spot in its Hall of Fame. But that was at Parx; a nice track, but a track out in the riding provinces. Now, Carmouche is […]

Bodexpress became a YouTube sensation for dumping jockey John Velazquez at the start of the 2019 Preakness Stakes. But the horse matured into a Grade 1 winner before his sudden retirement. (Image: John McDonnell/Washington Post via AP)

Preakness Punchline Turned Clark Stakes Winner Bodexpress Retired

Bodexpress, who went from comedic punchline to Grade 1 winner, was retired late Sunday night, nine days after the biggest win of his career. Trainer and part-owner Gustavo Delgado tweeted out a message late Sunday night that the colt suffered “a career-ending injury.” That injury was described as a swollen […]

Yes, jockey Frankie Dettori is No. 1 again -- for the fourth time in six years. The Italian-born, British rider was named the World's Top Jockey by the International (Edward Whitaker)

Dettori Named World’s Best Jockey for the Third Consecutive Year

What’s been a given in Europe became a given throughout the world when Frankie Dettori captured the title of World’s Best Jockey for the third consecutive year in 2020. The award came from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). The award isn’t subjective. It’s based on a rider’s performances […]

Tiz the Law will open his 2021 season at the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. He'll do so with new rider John Velazquez aboard. (Image: Albany Times Union)

Tiz The Law Rides Into 2021 with a New Jockey: John Velazquez

Five days after Tiz the Law came home a disappointing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, ownership group Sackatoga Stable announced that Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez replaces Manny Franco in the irons for the colt’s 2021 season. That season begins at the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at […]

Swiss Skydiver got her head in front of 3/2 favorite Authentic to win a Preakness Stakes stretch duel for the ages. (Image: Nick Wass/AP Photo)

Swiss Skydiver Wins Epic 2020 Preakness Stakes Amid Plunging Handle

Not even one of the most exciting Preakness finishes in memory prevented a 48.7% drop in betting handle from 2019’s record figure, according to Equibase. Pimlico’s 12-race Preakness handle checked in at $51,252,631, a nearly 50% drop from last year’s $99,852,653 record handle. That 2019 handle came on a 14-race […]

Antoinette's ability to hold off Stunning Sky down the Saratoga Oak stretch bodes well for her in Saturday's Belmont Oaks. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Will Antoinette Tell Her Belmont Oaks Foes, ‘Let Them Eat Turf?’

A British invader by way of France taking on a Kentucky-bred horse sporting a French name. The prime storyline surrounding Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Oaks can be confusing, to say the least. Just remember, Magic Attitude is the foreign invader and Antoinette is the home-bred filly in the five-filly field. […]

Authentic and John Velazquez led the Kentucky Derby at every post en route to upsetting heavy favorite Tiz the Law. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Authentic Drama Takes Over Wild 2020 Kentucky Derby

There was a thin sense of normalcy to the 2020 Kentucky Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his record-tying sixth Derby, this time with Authentic. And unheralded Mr Big News played this year’s designated long shot, blowing up many tickets – in good ways and bad – by […]