Johnny V. Blog

Johnny V. Blog

01/07/2011

Eclipse Award winning jockey John Velazquez is not only one of the nation’s leading riders, he’s also Chairman of the Jockeys’ Guild Board of Directors.

A native of Puerto Rico, Velazquez won the 2009 Florida Derby (G1) and 2010 Donn Handicap (G1) with Quality Road and the 2010 Fountain of Youth (G2) with Eskendereya. Represented by agent and Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Velazquez also is the regular rider of Mike Repole’s undefeated Uncle Mo, the early favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Married with two children, Velazquez will keep fans up-to-date by occasionally blogging throughout the Gulfstream season. On Saturday, Velazquez will be aboard Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) runnerup Morning Line in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3).

 

It feels great to be at Gulfstream. This meet has been very good to me the last several years. It’s a very important meet to us. You have the young 2-year-olds getting ready for the Kentucky Derby, and it’s important to be here with all these nice horses.

I’m also very fortunate to still be able to bring my family here during the meet. My two children go to school here for three months and then go back to New York and finish the school year there. Being able to have them with me is important, and I want to be around them. I don’t want to be a father who’s never around the house. I do travel, I do fly a lot, but usually if I leave town I travel for one or two days and I’m home by the third. The only time I’m not there is when I’m at Keeneland for three, four days. But I always go home for two or three days at a time. Basically, I’m a homebody.

I’ve been pretty busy this first week, traveling to Palm Meadows almost every day to work horses. As far as the young horses, we’re going to see how they develop. I’m excited about seeing how they’re doing, how they’ve grown, and how they’ve developed mentally and physically. I’m pretty excited about some of these young horses.

Obviously, there’s been a lot of talk about Uncle Mo. I saw him jogging the other day and he looks beautiful. He looked like he grew a little; not a lot. I’ll probably know more when I get on him. I hope he stays the same way as last year…or even grow stronger.

So far things have gone well. The track has been great. I’m looking forward to the winter.