Velazquez To Ride Preakness Winner Rombauer In Belmont Stakes

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will ride John and Diane Fradkin’s Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer in the G1 Belmont Stakes on June 5, replacing Flavien Prat, who rode the Twirling Candy colt to victory in the Triple Crown’s middle leg but committed to ride G1 Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Hot Rod Charlie in the 1 1/2-mile Test of the Champion at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The news was first reported by Daily Racing Form.

Velazquez rode Medina Spirit to a first-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and finished third aboard the Protonico colt in the Preakness, but Medina Spirit will not run in the Belmont. Following Medina Spirit’s defeat in the Preakness and more than a week after the colt’s trainer, Bob Baffert, revealed that he was notified of a positive drug test from the Derby, New York Racing Association officials said they would not accept any entries from Baffert or allow his horses to stable at NYRA tracks indefinitely. A stewards’ hearing can not be held in Kentucky until results of a split sample test is received by officials there.

Velazquez was also the regular rider of G1 Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat, who was briefly under consideration for a try against colts in the Belmont. However, her connections announced last week she would not contest the Triple Crown’s final leg.

If Rombauer contests the Belmont, this will be the 19th consecutive year Velazquez has a mount in the race. He’s won twice – with the filly Rags to Riches in 2007 and 2012 with Union Rags – from 24 Belmont Stakes starts dating back to 1995.

 

The post Velazquez To Ride Preakness Winner Rombauer In Belmont Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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