Horses

Derby-winning owner to pay jockey who missed out

Jockey John Velasquez on Derby hopeful Uncle Mo Morning workouted at Churchill Downs Sunday, May 1, 2011.
Jockey John Velasquez on Derby hopeful Uncle Mo Morning workouted at Churchill Downs Sunday, May 1, 2011.

Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin said Tuesday that jockey John Velazquez has decided to give a portion of his share of the purse from winning the 137th Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom to fellow rider Robby Albarado. Team Valor will in turn match that amount.

Albarado was scheduled to ride Animal Kingdom in the first leg of the Triple Crown but was replaced by Velazquez on Friday because of concerns Irwin and trainer Graham Motion had about Albarado's health. Albarado suffered a broken nose and facial lacerations when he slipped off his mount prior to the third race at Churchill Downs last Wednesday.

Albarado took off his mounts Thursday and Friday but rode Sassy Image to victory in the Grade I Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard Saturday.

"Johnny came up with what he believes to be an equitable split (of his portion of the purse money), and Team Valor is going to match it," Irwin said. "That will hopefully help."

The exact amount Velazquez and Team Valor would share with Albarado was not disclosed. Jockeys typically get 10 percent of the winner's share of the purse in addition to their mount fee. The first-place purse for this year's Kentucky Derby was $1,411,800.

Irwin and Motion have previously stated the decision to replace Albarado was due to health concerns and not related to Velazquez's becoming available when his expected Derby mount, Uncle Mo, was scratched.

"We were going to make a change because we were concerned about (Albarado's) well being," Motion said Sunday.

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