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Around Saratoga

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UPDATE: Reactions to Velazquez win record at Saratoga

By Lombardo David
Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jockey John Velazquez became the all-time winning jockey at Saratoga today with his 69th win.

"I definitely want to say thank you to [trainer] Todd [Pletcher]. I've been riding for him since 1998 and we're still going. I want to thank my family without whose support I wouldn't be able to do this. And I have to thank the fans," Velazquez said in a statement after the race. "The fans have been great to me. Thank you for your support. Thank you everyone. I appreciate it, and hope to win many more."

"It's a big number, I have to say that. Just to be named after Jerry Bailey or Angel Cordero, who probably, in my eyes, obviously I'm a little biased when it comes to Angel, they are two of the best riders I've ever seen in my career. I'm humbled, and I'm happy," he added.

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, now in second place with 693 wins at Saratoga: "It was a matter of time. I looked at the numbers; he goes by all-time money winnings either this year or next year past myself and Pat Day, and he's going to set the standard for everybody. He's a great rider and he deserves every bit of this. I do hope he takes the time to enjoy and reflect on this, because it's major."

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Jr., Velazquez' agent and winner of 649 races at Saratoga: "That's a lot of winners, and he should be proud, because this is the meeting that everyone wants to win at."

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Velazquez's 694th winner, Unitarian: "I'm really happy for Johnny. It's his moment, you know?"

NYRA CEO Chris Kay: "I'm delighted for John Velazquez and it is entirely fitting that his record-breaking winner was trained by Todd Pletcher. I'm pleased that Todd and Jerry Bailey and Angel Cordero Jr. could all share the moment with John and his family. John is not just a Hall of Fame rider, but one who has given back to this sport in so many ways. He is a model for all those who follow in his footsteps."

 

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