John Velazquez has a plaque in the Hall of Fame. He’s won classics, Eclipse Awards and Breeders’ Cup races. He recently passed Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day as the all-time leading jockey in earnings. He’s 41 and as good as he’s ever been. Why? Why is he still motivated?
I never pay attention to records or any of that stuff. Thank God I’ve done really well for this many years, ridden that many nice horses. I grew up watching Pat Day, to be up there with him, incredible. I just want to concentrate on what I do and try to do it well. The rest is meaningless if you don’t do the work.
The hunger for winning. That’s my only motivation. That still feels the same, the day I don’t feel like that, I need to do something else. The hunger of getting the next big horse, of riding well, that’s what keeps you motivated, keeps bringing you back. You want to feel the power of a good horse; you want to feel like you’re doing a good job. That’s what makes me happy. It’s always, ‘Which big horse can I get next?’ That gets you excited.
Read about Velazquez’s motivation, who he thanks of when he cross the wire and about his biggest critic at Jockey Journal 3.