Another weekend. Another rollercoaster. In less than two hours at Keeneland Saturday, John Velazquez upset two graded stakes and was upset in two graded stakes.
The Hall of Fame jockey guided Judy the Beauty to an upset win over Groupie Doll in the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes and steered We Miss Artie to an upset win in the Grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity.
Velazquez also endured tough losses aboard Dayatthespa in the Grade I First Lady and reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Grade I Shadwell Mile. The latter stung the most as frontrunner Silver Max stopped Wise Dan’s win streak at nine. The $750,000 stakes moved from the turf to the Polytrack and was lengthened a sixteenth of a mile after a downpour at Keeneland.
With less than a month before the Breeders’ Cup and mounts stacking up in some divisions, it will soon be decision time for Velazquez and agent Angel Cordero.
Wise Dan put in a good effort, but you’re always disappointed when you don’t win. He ran a good race. I was trying to cover him up going into the first turn and it was probably a mistake, I should have let him run to the first turn. I wound up getting bounced around and carried wide. Silver Max is a tough horse when he goes to the lead. He gets really brave. That was the difference.
Read more about Wise Dan, Judy the Beauty, We Miss Artie and how Velazquez prepares for the Breeders’ Cup at Jockey Journal #2.