DRF.com reports that Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez expects to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
According to the report, "his wife Leona sent a text early Monday evening saying that the fracture is non-displaced so it will heal by itself in three weeks. He will start riding Derby week.”
During the running of the seventh race at Aqueduct on Sunday, Velazquez was unseated from his mount, Katie Malone, after she clipped heels with Ascended Fever who was ridden by Jilver Chamafi. Katie Malone stumbled and fell, sending Velazquez to hit the turf course hard and roll over a few times.
He had to be removed from the track on a stretcher and taken to the North Shore University Hospital where he was later released that evening.
This is great news for Velazquez after a time of uncertainty regarding his status as the rider of the top two favorites to win the Kentucky Derby, undefeated Verrazano and Orb.
Velazquez had just won on Saturday at the G1 Wood Memorial aboard unbeaten Verrazano. Just one week before, he won the G1 Florida Derby aboard Orb.
After the race, Velazquez commented on the aired interview, that "he would be foolish to make a decision at that moment" referring to a question on who he would choose to ride. A decision will have to come sooner rather than later; for Velazquez is hoping sooner is later.
Velazquez was scheduled to ride two notable mounts this week. He was assigned to reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan on his 2013 debut race, Friday’s G1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland, and Overanalyze in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby.
He will be replaced by Jose Lezcano and Rafael Bejarano respectively.