Jockey John Velazquez, sidelined since fracturing his collarbone in a
June 16 spill at Churchill Downs, will return to the races Wednesday, July 25
at Saratoga Race Course with two scheduled mounts.
The 40-year-old native of Puerto Rico is named to ride Lucky Friend in race 5 and Stephanie’s Kitten in race 9, the
Grade 2, $200,000 Lake George for 3-year-old
fillies on the turf.
“I am really excited to get back to the races,” said
Velazquez, set for induction into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of
Fame on August 10. “It’s been five weeks since I last raced, and
that’s too long for me!”
Velazquez, who was Saratoga’s leading rider last year with 54
wins, is currently is second all-time among jockeys in wins at Saratoga with
655 from 4,015 starts, 38 behind Jerry Bailey’s 693 victories.
“I’m going to take it a little slow at the start, so it
might be difficult to catch Jerry this year,” said Velazquez.
“I’ll hopefully get some nice winners and setting the record will
come whenever it comes.”