Guiding Unitarian around the outside of the leaders in the final furlong of the fourth race Saturday and finishing a half-length in front of Parnelli and jockey Luis Saez, John Velazquez notched his 694th win at Saratoga Race Course, passing fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey for the all-time lead at the track.
Unitarian, fittingly enough, is trained by Todd Pletcher, with whom Velazquez has enjoyed much success over the last 15 years.
“I definitely want to say thank you to Todd for all his support throughout the years,” Velazquez said. “Since 1998, I’ve been riding for him, 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. The fans have been great to me. Thank you for your support. Thank you everyone. I appreciate it, and hope to win many more.”
“Amazing,” Pletcher said. “He’s been really good for a long time. This is Johnny’s moment.”