John Velazquez led all North American jockeys by earnings and by number of wins to be named Jockeys' Guild Jockey of the Week for February 5-11, 2018. 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. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element's Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
With $331,420 in 16 starts and nine wins, John Velazquez topped the rider standings by total earnings and victories last week. However, the highlight of Velazquez's week was his win in the $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) aboard World Approval ($2.40). Velazquez and World Approval sat off the pace and pulled away to win by a half-length in the feature race of the Saturday card at Tampa Bay Downs.
The win was the fourth straight for the 2017 Eclipse Champion Turf Male and the third consecutive with Velazquez aboard. The duo made their first appearance together since winning the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) in November at Del Mar.
Earlier on the card, Velazquez also finished second in the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes with post-time favorite Daisy and was third in the weekend's only Kentucky Derby prep race, the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) with Vino Rosso.
Velazquez was the fourth leading rider by stakes earnings for the week, with $155,000 in three stakes starts. He led by overall earnings, with $331,420 in 16 starts. Velazquez is ranked seventh by total earnings for 2018 among all North American jockeys with $1,616,075.
Velazquez led all jockeys by number of wins, with nine in 16 starts, giving him a 56% win rate. He also had one second-place finish and placed third three times, for an in-the-money rate of 81%. In 2018, he is 19 for 74 and he has won over 5,868 in his career. His lifetime earnings exceed $379,716,563.
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