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Johnny Velazquez rides 5,000th winner

NEW YORK (AP) - Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez reached 5,000 career victories Friday at Belmont Park.

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Velazquez, 41-years-old, was a perfect 3 for 3 on day, hitting the milestone with Galloping Giraffe, his final mount. He is the 28th rider to reach the plateau, with only victories in the U.S. and Canada counting in the total.

``Everybody says that when you get close to a big number you go into a slump. I started to believe it. `Maybe this is why I'm going so slow!''' Velazquez said. ``Everything was second and third, second and third. I was riding really good races and, unfortunately, was getting beat. Finally, it's over!''

He was asked if he thinks he can win 1,000 more races.

``I hope so. I plan to ride for a few more years, if I'm healthy enough,'' Velazquez said. ``If God blesses me with health, I'll be here. We got to count on being healthy.''

He also guided San Pablo to victory in the $90,000 Criminal Type Stakes, the 10th win in 18 starts for the 5-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher. The time was 1:41.14 for the 1 1/16 miles as San Pablo beat Hymn Book by 3 1/2 lengths.

San Pablo paid $11, $3.50 and $2.30. Hymn Book returned $2.60 and $2.10, and Mucho Macho Man, second in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, paid $2.10 to show.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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