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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

John Velazquez Breaks Earnings Record

John Velazquez 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

 

Just more than a month shy of his 42nd birthday, John Velazquez has been on a real run of major achievements the past couple years. A late replacement for the injured, Robby Albarado, Johnny V scored his first victory in the race that everyone dreams to win, when he booted home Animal Kingdom in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Last year, he was welcomed into the elite of the elite when he was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame. During this summer, he not only became the all-time leading rider at Saratoga Race Course, breaking Jerry Bailey's record of 693 winners, but he also reached the milestone of 5,000 career victories. Today at Belmont Park, the hits kept on coming, as the Puerto Rican native became the leading jockey by earnings in North American racing history.

 

Velazquez broke the record of Pat Day, whose mark of mark of $297,914,839 had stood since 2005. He became the all-time leader, and reached $297,922,320 in career purses, by finishing second in today’s ninth race aboard 5-1 shot, Bit Bustin, for trainer, Gary Contessa. 

 

Well respected by his peers, the 2009 George Woolf Memorial Award winner, which is given to the jockey who demonstrates his class both on and off the racetrack, was understated after breaking the record.  

 

"It's something that happened to happen, and I'm glad it happened," said Velazquez.

 

Johnny V rode his first race winner at El Comandante in his homeland at 18 years of age. Later that year, and with the help of another riding legend, Angel Cordero, Jr., Velazquez moved his tack to New York, and the rest, as they say, is history. Among his quickly expanding list of accomplishments include back-to-back Eclipse Awards as Outstanding Jockey in 2004 and 2005.

 

Don't expect Johnny V to stop earning big money now that he has the record. In next month’s World Championships, Velazquez will look to pilot Wise Dan to their second consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile victory. Among his other notable mounts in the BC, will include a pair of talented three-year-olds for the trainer that has given him a leg up on more winners than any other, in Todd Pletcher’s Palace Malice, in the Classic, and Verrazano in the Dirt Mile. 

 

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Older Comments about John Velazquez Breaks Earnings Record...

Hey, I could be biased ,but I didn't take the purse comparison comment that way.
He is not doing that,he is comparing the times.Something many do here when trying o compare horses of different generations.Somehow they wind up tearing down greatness.
Heaven forbid something positive happen in this decade for horse racing .. no worries though T_V is here to constantly tear down any accomplishments that occur, and constantly remind us of how much better things use to be. Because obviously there is absolutely nothing worth celebrating in this day and age. Gold star.
Thank you Blabs.Look at the 3 leading jocks in purses. 3 are near the 20 million mark already.Rosario has won almost 19 million.He missed 2 months due to injury,also his Dubai win at a 12 million Dollar purse is not included.If anyone has a top 4 horse in America and cannott bank roll at least 1.5 million in earnings,needs to let somebody else call the shots.
State-bred maiden 2yo fillies race for a $90K pots @ Belmont.
I am not sure purses today are greater than those in the past, at least not in California. I remember when the Big Cap was a million dollar race, the Strub had a much bigger purse, the Hollywood Futurity and maybe the Starlet were million dollar races, the San Juan Capistrano had a much bigger purse. And in those days a million dollars was a lot of money.
Blingo just won a "hubdred grande" Did the *velocities* see that coming?
Can recall the days that winning a "hundred grander" was a real big deal
Vic ,my boy.For onc i absolutely agree with you.That is my exact point,why i tell owners never to over race their horses. These bloated purses and multi opportunities against small and inferior fields.This allows your horse to stay fresh and hang around a long time.Nothing wrong with having A healthy and rested star to rack up the purses.Perfect example is Game On Dude. Last year he ran about 10 times nad made short of a million.This year he has 5 races ,and has doubled his winnings.Add his BC Classic winnings to the fold ,and he will of won 5 Million for 6 races or so.
unfotunately there is no equivalence of previous seasons winners to the bloated purses of today for an accurate comparison...Before they equalted them at movies, poor Gone with the Wind always suffered when entrance to a show in 1940 was about a buck tops.
Congratulations Johnny V. and his family. He is a true Gentleman and a hardworking man! Looking forward to the Breeder's Cup Races and Good Luck on South Carolina's Boy, Palace Malice :) Go Johnny V !!
No disrespect to Johnny V.,i personally think he is the best we have right now.Has the best hands in the game.The seat,that is reserved to someone else.I wonder if Todd got any commissions from this staggerring amount?
This guy is awesome, a class act and one of the best position rider of all time!
Couldn't have happened to a better guy. Congrats to Johnny V!
Congrats to JRV, to be the best in NY is to be the best! I loved his quote about this milestone just happening.
One of the best in the business- if not one of the best ever. Very well deserved of such a talented, wise, hard working, true gentleman. Love love LOVE Johhny V!! Can't wait to see him on Wise Dan and Verrazano in the Breeders Cup and maybe he can finally make it happen for Palace Malice as well

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.