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New record holder for all-time wins at the Spa

Updated: 07/30/2013 7:14 PM
Created: 07/30/2013 5:04 PM WNYT.com
By: Chris Onorato

SARATOGA - He may not hold the title which still belongs to Angel Cordero Jr., but in many ways there is a new king of Saratoga.

When you start to rattle off the racing resume of Johnny Velazquez, it quickly resembles that of an all-time great who has long since hung up the jockey silk: 2 Belmonts, a Kentucky Derby, a Travers, 2 Haskells, more than 5,000 career victories and most recently the record for all-time wins here at Saratoga.

That record ride came in the 4th race this past Saturday and fittingly it came aboard a Todd Pletcher trained horse. Johnny v and Pletcher have celebrated 255 times and counting in the Saratoga winner's circle.

Until Saturday, Jerry Bailey's mark of 693 wins at the Spa had stood since 2005. And no matter who you ask, the answer is almost always the same--Saratoga is the place a jockey wants to win most.

Velazquez is already a hall of famer, but the 41-year-old is far from slowing down. Johnny V will be riding one of the favorites in this year's Travers--go figure it's a Todd Pletcher horse, Verrazano.

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