For John Velazquez, the rides are booked, the details completed for the Breeders’ Cup. Less than a week until the biggest two days in Thoroughbred racing at Santa Anita Park. The Hall of Fame jockey will travel to California Wednesday, until then, he’ll think about the job at hand – riding races at Belmont, traveling to Woodbine for the Canadian International and handling the day-to-day duties of a jockey.
By Wednesday, the races will have been drawn, he’ll wade in and try to figure out ways to win on the likes of Point of Entry (who makes his first start since the spring), reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan and Jim Dandy winner Palace Malice.
I’ve been breezing Point of Entry, he’s very good. It’s tough to ask anybody to come back at a mile and a half off such a layoff, but he’s really good. I definitely have the confidence in the horse but I don’t know if we’ll be 100 percent without a race under his belt. He’s a good horse, he can show up for sure. I have to take it into consideration that he hasn’t had a race, I have to ride him that way, I have to try to save him the best I can until the end. Palace Malice has been breezing really well, he’s facing a salty bunch at a mile and a quarter, but you know what, he’s a good horse. He’ll show up.
Read about Velazquez picking up mounts in California, the atmosphere of the jock’s room on Breeders’ Cup day and when he starts serious preparations for the big day at Jockey Journal 4.