John Velazquez rode three winners at Saratoga Race Course today to move into a tie with the retired Jerry Bailey for most all-time at Saratoga, with 693.
Velazquez, inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame last year, scored on the impressive first-time starters Corfu in the second race and Our Amazing Rose in the fifth before tying Bailey with a win on White Rose in the sixth.
He lost on two subsequent mounts on the card.
While answering questions about the record, he repeatedly stressed that he was fortunate to ride at Saratoga at a time when the meet lasts 40 racing days.
“It’s an honor just to be named with Jerry Bailey and Angel Cordero. But it’s a different kind of category,” he said. “We have more racing days and more races. It doesn’t seem like a true record, with how many races we have. From 24 days to 40 is very different.”
Velazquez did not have a winner in the three racing days prior to today.
“I wasn’t thinking about records, I was thinking let’s get the horses to run better.,” he said. “I come here to win races, to win races, have a good meet. If there was a place you’d want to do well, it would be Saratoga. It’s all the best trainers and horses, so you’d like to shine here.”
Velazquez reached 693 victories with 4,204 mounts (16.5 percent). Bailey did it with 3,381 (20.5 percent), and Cordero, third on the all-time list and Velazquez’s long-time mentor, had 459 winners from 2,421 mounts (19.0 percent.