By all accounts Cornelio Velasquez had quite a week to remember yet he continued to add accolades when he was named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week Award on Monday. Most would say that earnings of over one million dollars and two stakes wins would be enough, but our panel of distinguished voters at JockeyTalk360 thought he was deserving of one more win this week.
When top notch Shared Belief was eased midway during the running of the Charles Town Classic, (Gr. II) on Saturday Velasquez took advantage aboard last years third place finisher Moreno. He initially broke for the lead from post six in the three-turn race, but quickly gave it up to the speedy Warrioroftheroses, who fired out from the outside post nine. Velasquez gave Moreno the cue as the field headed down the backstretch, and the 5-year-old Ghostzapper gelding took control passing the six-furlong mark with the lead.
Trainer Eric Guillot said of Moreno and Cornelio’s ride “He’s a speed horse and this track has three turns, a short stretch. He didn’t know where the wire was. I told (Velasquez) you have to stay busy on him, and he did exactly what I said. He listened to instructions and knew the logistics of the race perfectly.”
Velasquez and Moreno not only won the Charles Town Classic, but did it in impressive fashion by setting the course record at 1:48.81.
Earlier in the Saturday Charles Town card Velasquez drew off to win easily by 4 ½ lengths aboard Control Stake to win the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial Stakes. He nicely rated the 3-year-old Discreetly Mine colt and booted clear when asked to win the 7 furlong listed event in hand.
For the week Velasquez brought in a staggering $ 1,024,785 in purse earnings with an overall record for the week of four wins, three seconds and three third place finishes from 24 mounts.