Xpressbet Jockey Journal 5: John Velazquez

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The Breeders’ Cup is work. Hard work for jockeys like John Velazquez. He’s booked to ride in 13 of the 14 races over the two-day program Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita. That in itself is a tall order, but riding that many races is nothing new for the Hall of Famer.

Securing those mounts – which include three favorites and two second choices – is where the hard work part comes into play. It’s hard to get the mounts, but even harder to win on this stage. Velazquez is ready and five of his mounts are for his principle client, Todd Pletcher, including Dirt Mile favorite Verrazano and Juvenile favorite Havana. Here’s what Velazquez thinks of his Breeders’ Cup:

Best chance of the day?
I don’t know. I think riding Wise Dan, he’s the Horse of the Year, I couldn’t go and say that I would be lying to you, if I didn’t say he was my best chance of the day. I think he’s the best horse in the race and the best horse out there and hopefully I can give him a good ride and win the race.

Toughest races Friday and Saturday?
They’re all tough obviously. I definitely think the Distaff is very competitive. Obviously the competition for my horse, the two horses that are the favorites, they look like talents of the race and definitely like they are dominating the field. It will be very tough race. Very tough.

The Classic, go back to the same thing, look at the Classic, look at all the good horses in the race. It makes it very competitive and makes it very exciting. It’s what makes horse racing exciting, you know? A lot of good horses, all in the same place at one time. This is what makes it exciting and this is what makes it tough. It’s what the Breeders’ Cup is about, getting all the best horses together.

Read about Velazquez’s mounts, race-by-race, at Jockey Journal 5.