Racing News

Velazquez, Castellano confirm Derby mounts

  • John Velazquez, shown with agent Angel Cordero Jr., will be seeking his second Derby victory this year (Adam Conglianese Photo)

Several key riding assignments have been confirmed for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

John Velazquez will stick with Wood Memorial winner and likely Kentucky Derby favorite Verrazano, agent Angel Cordero Jr. reported on Wednesday. Velazquez has guided the Todd Pletcher-trained Verrazano to victories in all four career starts but faced a difficult decision due to the fact that he was also the regular rider for Florida Derby winner Orb, another leading Kentucky Derby contender.

Velazquez is currently sidelined after sustaining rib and wrist injuries in a spill at Aqueduct last Sunday, but is expected to resume riding May 1.

As a result of Velazquez's decision, Orb's connections quickly locked up the services of Joel Rosario, who will be re-united with the colt in the Run for the Roses. Rosario was up in Orb's first five starts, including a maiden win at Aqueduct in late November and an optional claiming win at Gulfstream Park on January 26, before surrendering the mount to Velazquez in the February 23 Fountain of Youth. Orb will bring a four-race winning streak into the Kentucky Derby for trainer Shug McGaughey.

On Thursday, Javier Castellano committed to ride Wood Memorial runner-up Normandy Invasion over Louisiana Derby hero Revolutionary. Castellano rode the Chad Brown-trained Normandy Invasion for the first time last Saturday and replaced the injured Ramon Dominguez on Revolutionary earlier this season for Pletcher.

Pletcher said they would wait until after this weekend's races to announce a jockey for Revolutionary in the Kentucky Derby.

"It was a difficult decision with Todd & Chad being our two biggest supporters, but we have chosen to ride Normandy Invasion in the Ky Derby," tweeted Matt Muzikar, Castellano's agent. "We appreciate & respect Revolutionary, (owner) Kenny Trout, Todd Pletcher, Elliott Walden & all of Winstar Farm. We wish them only the best!"

Garrett Gomez has also secured the Derby mount on Gotham winner and Wood Memorial third-placer Vyjack. The once-beaten gelding had been ridden by Rosario in his last two starts.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.