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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Owner Displeasure with Pletcher Beginning?

Interesting news out of Pimlico…apparently, Team Valor (owner of King of the Roxy) was none too happy about John Velazquez opting for Circular Quay, and nearly insisted on the stewards at Pimlico forcing the issue, only to think better of it and accept Garrett Gomez instead. Team Valor’s Barry Irwin said, "It was 2 to 1 to not ride Velazquez. Basically, people did not trust the situation and did not want to have a guy ride for us whose heart wasn't in it. And, they voted 100 percent to ride Gomez."

Hmmm...are owners tired of their horses being prioritized by a corporate trainer like Pletcher for jocks? I don’t understand the fascination with Velazquez, anyways. Gomez is currently the top rider in the country, winning 22% and finishing in the money nearly 54%. Velazquez, in nearly 100 less rides, wins at about the same rate, but is in the money nearly 51%. The only other top 10 rider with fewer rides than Velazquez is Fernando Jara. Ramon Dominguez, on the other hand, wins at a 27% clip, and is in the money an astounding 60%.