- Horse Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- John Velazquez
By The Sports Xchange April 7, 2013 9:10 PM
On Saturday, jockey John Velazquez rode Verrazano to victory in the Grade I Wood Memorial. On Sunday, Velazquez rode an ambulance to a hospital after being involved in a spill during the seventh race at Aqueduct. The Hall of Fame jockey was thrown hard to the ground when his mount, Katie Malone clipped heels and fell. The 41-year-old jockey flipped numerous times. Velazquez complained of right should pain, was removed from the track on a backboard and transported to a local hospital. "I feel like I've been beat up," he told the New York Daily News as he was being wheeled into the hospital, where X-rays were taken and came back negative. Injuries and Churchill Downs are somewhat synonymous for Velazquez. In 2006, he fractured his right shoulder on April 20, costing him a ride in that year's Derby. Last year, on June 16, he fractured his right collarbone in a spill at Churchill Downs. Velazquez's victory in the Wood positioned Verrazano to go off as the favorite to win next month's Derby. Another early Kentucky Derby contender is Florida Derby winner Orb. Velazquez is Orb's regular rider, too.