After breaking the all-time record for graded stakes wins, John Velazquez was voted Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for September 22-29, 2019. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
As the week began, John Velazquez was tied with Jerry Bailey for the all-time record number of graded stakes wins with 660 victories in graded events.
Velazquez had six opportunities to break the record with mounts in six graded stakes over three days, but wasted no time capturing his 661st victory in his first stakes mount, the $300,000 Chandelier (G1) with Bast ($2.40) on Friday at Santa Anita.
He extended the new record by winning the $300,000 American Pharoah (G1) with Eight Rings ($4.40) in a six-length romp later on the same card.
He returned to Belmont on Saturday where he swept both graded stakes on the card, the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) with Code of Honor ($6.00) via disqualification and the $300,000 Beldame (G2) with Horse of the Year Candidate Midnight Bisou ($2.30).
Four stakes wins netted Velazquez $951,500 in stakes earnings for the week, the highest among all North American jockeys. He also led by total earnings, adding $1,048,353 to his 2019 total of $15,435,298. His lifetime earnings exceed $411 million.
Velazquez won five races last week and finished in the money in 71% of his 17 starts. He has won 117 of his 591 races in 2019 and is 6,127 for 33,509 lifetime.
Voters also recognized Ricardo Santana, Jr., who tied a track record at Remington Park with seven wins in one day, including three stakes wins, and Abel Cedillo, who won three graded stakes at Santa Anita, including his first career Grade 1 victory in the Awesome Again with longshot Mongolian Groom.
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