John R. Velazquez, the Jockey

Kentucky Derby 2018:  This Years Amazing Trio!

Horse, Vino Rosso - Jockey, JR Velazquez -  Trainer, Todd Pletcher

John R. Velazquez is a popular American jockey who started his career in Puerto Rico and will be taking the helm for another horse trained by Todd Pletcher, Vino Rosso in this years Kentucky Derby. In 1990, Velazquez came to the U.S. where he went on to become the United States Champion Jockey for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. During those years, he was also awarded the Eclipse Award For Outstanding Jockey. The award is presented to outstanding American thoroughbred jockeys. In 2012, Velazquez made his entry into Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

By the time 2014 rolled around, Velazquez became one of the highest paid jockeys in the history of horse racing and at last report he was valued at a net worth of 310 million as of 2017. Velazquez has won 15 Breeder's Cups, his first was at Aqueduct Racetrack on November 2, 1985 riding Proud Truth. Velazquez also won the Kentucky Derby in 2011 riding Animal Kingdom who was 20-1 long shot and in 2017 atop Always Dreaming. In addition, he also has won two other Triple Crown races and some graded stakes races as well.

John R. Velazquez has had a remarkable career ever since he first won his first stakes race after coming to the United States. Despite suffering grave injuries including two broken ribs, a fractured shoulder blade, and a fractures sternum at a Keeneland racetrack, Velazquez managed to surprise his audience by appearing at a racing arena in June the same year despite the fact that he was expected to make a come back only after a period of 5 months.