John Velasquez delivers as Queen Goddess defeats Robert J. Frankel Stakes – Press Enterprise


ARCADIA — There have been many plaudits for jockey John Velasquez after the Corridor of Fame jockey guided Queen Goddess from the gate to a wire-to-wire victory within the $100,000 Grade III Robert J. within the Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Velasquez, 51, hit the gate with the 2-1 favourite for the 1 1/8-mile turf playing cards and Pirates, feeding him by means of average fractions of 24.39, 48.89 and 1:12.42 en route. A ultimate time of 1:48.35 on the grass was good as a result of gentle rain.

Co-owner Aaron Wellman stated that when he and his companions shaped Eclipse Thoroughbred Companions, they needed Velasquez to trip their horses as typically as attainable.

“He has been an integral a part of Eclipse’s success through the years and we’re endlessly indebted to him,” he stated. “Having him right here at Santa Anita for an enormous meet is massive for the neighborhood, Santa Anita and our secure. He will get the job finished and he is a Corridor of Famer, he is right here to play. It is good to see him go on the market and get graded stakes to complete off the yr.”

Though Velasquez stated he and successful coach Michael McCarthy consulted on technique earlier than the race, the latter stated he didn’t want to inform Velasquez something earlier than the race.

“Johnny is within the Corridor of Fame,” McCarthy stated. “I do not (give instructions), she does her homework. He labored on this case the opposite day and was very impressed with the way in which it went.”

Queen Goddess, a 4-year-old Empire Maker, beat Closing Remarks by 2 1/2 lengths. It was one other size and 1 / 4 again to Quattroelle in third. Queen Goddess has gained 5 of 10 in lifetime earnings of $470,580.

“Michael and I spoke earlier than the race and it seemed like there was just one different horse that could possibly be within the lead so I made a decision to exit operating to verify he was within the lead after which we might put him in there , the place he’s snug. Velasquez stated. “He was in a position to dictate the race, main wire to wire for the primary time. He was good at that time. Heading into the far flip, he crossed to his left and he simply went. I stated. “Okay mother, let’s go.”

The win was the second stakes win for Eclipse Award Companions after successful over Joe Hernandez earlier on the cardboard.

Air Force Red and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Joe Hernandez Stakes on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Santa Anita.  (Benoit Photo)
Air Pressure Pink and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Joe Hernandez Stakes on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Santa Anita. (Benoit Photograph)

Joe Hernandez Stakes

Juan Hernandez gained his sixth race of the Basic Meet, guiding the Leonard Powell-trained Air Pressure Pink to a 1 3/4-length gate-to-wire victory over Lane Manner. Gregorian Chant was one other 1 1/2 lengths third within the $250,000 Grade II Stakes on the Hillside Turf.

Air Pressure Pink carved fractions of twenty-two.19, 43.65 and 1:05.66 to clock a ultimate time of 1:11.53 for six 1/2 furlongs on well-marked turf. The 4-year-old Air Pressure Blue gelding, who went 7-1, gained for the fifth time in 10 begins and raised his earnings to $354,140.

“It has been a very unbelievable yr for me,” Hernandez stated. “I’ve actually improved on myself and I’ve to thank my agent and all my colleagues lots. Hopefully subsequent yr I need to maintain working laborious and have a greater yr.”

Victor Espinoza guides Lady T to victory in the Las Flores Stakes on Saturday, 2022.  on December 31 in Santa Anita.  (Benoit Photo)
Victor Espinoza guides Woman T to victory within the Las Flores Stakes on Saturday, 2022. on December 31 in Santa Anita. (Benoit Photograph)

Las Flores Stakes

Woman T, the 2-1 second alternative, rallied from fifth early to beat 26-1 Manorelli by 1 1/4 lengths within the $100,000 Grade III dash on a fast-tagged major monitor.

Victor Espinoza guided the John Shirreffs-trained 3-year-old daughter Into Mischief to her second win in 11 begins as she elevated her profession earnings to $229,700 with a $60,000 first-place verify.


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