John Velazquez
Jockey Bios

John Velazquez

Born: November 24, 1971 in Carolina, Puerto Rico

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 214

Stakes Wins: 51

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1995 Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park on Turk Passer

First Stakes Win: 1990 Ticonderoga at Aqueduct on Proud n' Appeal

First Graded Stakes Win: 1991 Ohio Derby (G2) at Thistledown on Private Man

First Career Win: 1990 at El Comandante Racetrack on Rodas

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass




2015  Carpe Diem Won


 Gala Award









Join in the Dance



Cowboy Cal



Bluegrass Cat






Invisible Ink



More Than Ready



Lemon Drop Kid


At Keeneland

Sixth-leading jockey by stakes victories (51).

Won the 2018 First Lady (G1) on A Ravng Beauty (GER) during the Fall Meet and the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) on Sistercharlie (IRE) during the Spring Meet.

During the 2017 Fall Meet, won the Rood & Riddle Dowager (G3) on Apple Betty (IRE). During the 2017 Spring Meet, won the Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) on Unbridled Mo and Giant's Causeway (L) on Lady Aurelia.

During the 2016 Fall Meet, rode Time and Motion to win the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane's End (G1).

On Oct. 30, 2015, during the undercard of the first day of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, rode Race Day to win the Hagyard Fayette (G2).

Won two stakes during the 2015 Spring Meet: Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on Carpe Diem and Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare (G3) on Deceptive Vision.

Won two Grade 1 stakes during the 2014 Spring Meet: Maker's 46 Mile on Wise Dan and Madison on Judy the Beauty. On Oct. 4 during the 2014 Fall Meet, he won five races, including three Grade 1 races: Shadwell Turf Mile on Wise Dan, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity on Carpe Diem and First Lady on Dayatthespa. Won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Lane’s End a week later with Crown Queen.

Won the 2013 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on We Miss Artie, Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) on Judy the Beauty and Transylvania (G3) on Jack Milton.

Leading rider during the 2005 Spring Meet with 21 wins.

First Keeneland win came during the 1994 Fall Meet when he scored his first stakes win here in the Hopemont on Claudius.

Won 2005 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on Bandini.


Recorded 6,000th North American win Nov. 30, 2018, at Aqueduct when he rode Singapore Trader to win the fifth race. He is North America's all-time leading rider by career earnings with more than $404 million as of June 17, 2019. 

Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2012.

Two-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey – 2004 and 2005 – when he was North America’s leading rider by earnings.

Triple Crown wins (4): Kentucky Derby (G1) in 2011 on Animal Kingdom and 2017 on Always Dreaming: Belmont (G1) in 2007 on the filly Rags to Riches and 2012 on Union Rags.

Breeders’ Cup wins (16): 1998 Mile on Da Hoss; 2000 Juvenile Fillies on Caressing; 2002 Filly and Mare Turf on Starine (FR) and Juvenile Fillies on Storm Flag Flying; 2004 Distaff on Ashado and Sprint on Speightstown; 2007 Turf on English Channel; 2010 Juvenile on Uncle Mo and Marathon on Eldaafer; 2011 Filly and Mare Turf on Perfect Shirl and Juvenile Fillies Turf on Stephanie’s Kitten; 2012 Mile on Wise Dan; 2014 Turf on Main Sequence; 2017 Mile on World Approval and Distaff on Forever Unbridled; 2018 Filly and Mare Turf on Sistercharlie (IRE).

Has three wins during the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England on horses trained by Wesley Ward: 2009 Windsor Castle on Strike the Tiger, 2009 Queen Mary (G2) on Jealous Again and 2017 King's Stand (G1) on Lady Aurelia. 

Won the 2014 Mike Venezia Memorial Award following a vote of fans on The award recognizes jockeys who display the sportsmanship and citizenship that defined Venezia.

Became North America’s all-time leading money-earning rider on Oct. 13, 2013, at Belmont Park, surpassing Pat Day’s previous record of $297,914,839 held since 2005.

Won his 5,000th race on June 14, 2013, at Belmont Park aboard Galloping Giraffe in the sixth race.

Won the Bill Shoemaker Award in 2004, 2011 and 2014 as outstanding jockey of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2009.

Won 4,000th race on Sept. 28, 2008, at Belmont Park aboard Rogue Agent; won his 3,000th race at Saratoga on July 29, 2004, aboard Runingforpresident, coinciding with John Velazquez Bobblehead Doll Day at the track.

Click here for his Equibase career record.



In June 1988 John entered the jockey school in Puerto Rico. He kicked off his riding career shortly after and scored his first victory at El Comandante Racetrack in 1990 aboard Rodas. He relocated to New York in March 1990 with Racing Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero Jr.’s guidance. Cordero has acted as his agent since 1998.

John won first two Grade 1 races of his career in 1995 and the following spring captured his first riding title, at Aqueduct. He was the regular rider of Yanks Music, champion 3-year-old filly of 1996, who was trained by his father-in-law, Leo O’Brien.

He is Co-Chairman of the Jockeys' Guild Board of Directors 2019-2020.