Jockey Velazquez taken to hospital
Jockey John Velazquez was transported to Audubon Hospital after he injured a shoulder Saturday in a spill in the ninth race at Churchill Downs.
A week after he rode Union Rags to victory in the Belmont Stakes, the 40-year-old Velazquez was taken from the track on a stretcher. He complained about shoulder pain but had full mobility, track spokesman Darren Rogers said.
Velazquez’s mount, Mr. Producer, broke down near the sixteenth pole. The horse fell to the inside and took out Smart Farda and jockey Manoel Cruz. Velazquez was thrown forward and then kicked while on the ground by the trailing Lemansky, causing jockey John McKee to be thrown, too.
Cruz and McKee walked off the track, but McKee took off his final mount of the night.
Mr. Producer was euthanized on the track.
Velazquez was selected for racing’s Hall of Fame this April. He won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom. His first Triple Crown win came in the 2007 Belmont, piloting filly Rags to Riches.