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Jorge Velasquez

Jorge Velasquez
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    Jorge Velasquez was born on Dec. 28, 1946 in Chepo, Panama. He began riding in his native country as a teenager before moving to the United States.

     Velasquez rode with success throughout the states, but found his greatest success on the New York circuit. In both 1974 and 1979 he swept the New York Filly Triple Crown with Hall of Famers Chris Evert and Davona Dale, respectively.

     Velasquez rode many of the top horses of his era, but always considered Hall of Famer Alydar to be his best mount. He rode Alydar to second-place finishes in all three Triple Crown events in 1978, each time losing a heartbreaker to Affirmed. Velasquez and Alydar did exact a measure of revenge by defeating Affirmed in the Travers Stakes later that summer.


    In 1981, Velasquez piloted Pleasant Colony to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Other notable races won by Velasquez include the Beldame Stakes (5), Mother Goose Stakes (5), Acorn Stakes (4), Alabama Stakes (4), Champagne Stakes (4), Coaching Club of America Oaks (4), Withers Stakes (4), Florida Derby (2), Arlington Handicap (2), Carter Handicap, Jerome Handicap, Man o’ War Stakes (5), Wood Memorial Stakes, Remsen Stakes (2), Jockey Club Gold Cup (3), Whitney Handicap (2), Canadian International Stakes (2), Saratoga Special (2), Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Oaks, and Black-Eyed Susan.

    In 1985, Velasquez won the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Proud Truth and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with Twilight Ridge.

    Velasquez led all North American jockeys in wins during 1967 and in earnings in 1969. He was presented the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 1986.

    Jorge Velasquez was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1990.