John Velazquez is one of the most accomplished jockeys in the United States. Coming from Puerto Rico in 1990 he learned under legendary jockey Angel Cordero. Although Velazquez became a stakes winner in his first year of racing it would take him 5 years to earn his first grade 1 stakes win at Belmont Park. In 1996 Velazquez won his first of many meet titles at Aqueduct in the New York circuit.
“Johnny V” as he is often affectionately called earned his first Breeder’s Cup win on a horse named Da Hoss. The win was described by the track announcer as “the greatest comeback since Lazarus.”
Velazquez has had a wonderful career including multiple Eclipse awards, two jockey earnings awards, and over 6,000 career wins. However, it wasn’t until 17 years into his career after 21 failed attempts that he got his first Triple Crown series victory aboard Rags to Riches in the Belmont Stakes.
Off the track Velazquez has served as a leading advocate for jockeys in both the Jockeys’ Guild and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Velazquez has won over 80 different Triple Crown, Breeder’s Cup, and grade 1 stakes races. He is a three time winner of the Kentucky Derby, most recently with Authentic in 2020, a two time Belmont Stakes champion, and a 17 time Breeder’s Cup winning jockey.
Along with his American success he has also won multiple international races including the 2005 Dubai World Cup, The E.P. Taylor Stakes, and the Woodbine Mile.
Velazquez is a two time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey winning it back to back in 2004 and 2005.
Top Riders/Trainers: Todd Pletcher, William Mott, Mark Casse, Graham H. Motion, Bob Baffert
Top 5 Career Horses in Earnings: Authentic, English Channel, Wise Dan, Roses in May, Sistercharlie (IRE)