Photo: Courtesy of Keeneland Racecourse
Jockey John Velazquez captured the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Saturday and finished second in the Matron Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park earning him the Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week honors for October 11 – 16, 2016. 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.
On Saturday, Velazquez won twice at Keeneland including an upset victory over Catch a Glimpse in the Gr. 1, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup aboard Time and Motion. Velazquez has been Time and Motion’s regular rider throughout her 2016 campaign piloting her to five victories in six starts. The win marked her second straight upset of Catch a Glimpse and her first Grade 1 victory after narrowly losing to Catch a Glimpse in the Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 9.
Velazquez, a two-time Eclipse Award winner and George Woolf Award winner, returned to Belmont Park on Sunday and guided Cherry Lodge to a second place finish in the Gr. 3, $200,000 Matron Stakes. Velazquez has been aboard Cherry Lodge in each of her three starts, including her debut victory at Saratoga on August 7, 2016.
For the week, Velazquez accumulated 6 wins from his 28 mounts and led the North American jockey colony in total earnings with $608,811. He would finished in the money on 54% of his mounts. Velazquez currently ranks fourth in North America with $16.4 million in total earnings in 2016.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.