Jockey John Velazquez swept the early Pick 3 en route to a
five-win day at Aqueduct Racetrack on Sunday, including victories in all three
stakes on the nine-race card.
In race 1, Velazquez piloted favored Souper Spectacular
($5.70), a half-brother to Zenyatta, to a neck decision in a 1 1/16-mile turf
optional claimer. The jockey brought home another favorite in race 2, wiring
the field in a seven-furlong maiden race aboard Strike the Moon ($3.10).
Velazquez and longshot Big Brownie ($26) closed out the
early Pick 3 ($220.50) with a rail-skimming 5 ¾-length victory in the Staten
Island Division of the New York Stallion Series.
After finishing in a dead heat for fifth in race 4 and
without a mount in race 5, Velazquez was back to his winning ways in race 6,
when favored Unbridled Humor ($3.50) got up by a nose to win the Memories of
Silver overnight stakes. Second in race 7, Velazquez picked up his fifth winner
and third stakes victory of the day when Driven by Success ($4.50) prevailed
after dueling with General Maximus in the seven-furlong New York Stallion
Series Thunder Rumble Division, the day’s eighth race.
“It’s a great day for me,” said Velazquez, 38. “I don’t get
one of these that often anymore, so I’m very happy today!”
Velazquez also rode five winners on August 21 at Saratoga
Race Course en route to his fourth Spa riding title. He is one of three riders
to win five races in a single day on the NYRA circuit this year, with Ramon
Dominguez piloting five winners at Aqueduct on February 17, and Javier
Castellano accomplishing the feat on July 25 at Saratoga.
With seven victories at Aqueduct through the close of racing
on Sunday, Velazquez is now fourth in the jockey standings behind David Cohen,
who has ridden nine winners, and Ramon Dominguez and Jose Lezcano, tied with