Kentucky Derby

Verrazano, not Orb, Velazquez's Derby ride

NEW YORK — John Velazquez will ride unbeaten Verrazano in the Kentucky Derby.

The jockey's agent, Angel Cordero, confirmed Wednesday that Velazquez will be aboard the Wood Memorial winner in the Derby on May 4.

Velazquez also rides Florida Derby winner Orb, but has decided to go with Verrazano, the 3-year-old colt many expect to be the Derby favorite.

Orb also is a top Derby contender, and will now be ridden by Joel Rosario, who was aboard the horse for his first five starts. Rosario was aboard third-place finisher Vyjack in the Wood.

Velazquez, meanwhile, has been sidelined since Sunday, when he fractured a rib and chipped a bone on his right wrist in a spill during a race at Aqueduct.

A news release from the Jockeys' Guild on Wednesday said Velazquez was examined by Dr. Stephen O'Brien on Monday and cleared to resume riding May 1.

War Academy tops Arkansas Derby field

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — War Academy tops the field for Saturday's Arkansas Derby, with Oxbow a close second choice in the field of 10 3-year-olds in the $1 million Kentucky Derby prep race.

The Bob Baffert-trained War Academy was made the 2-1 favorite following Wednesday's post-position draw. The colt will leave from the No. 2 gate.

War Academy, who has won two of three races this year, will attempt to become Baffert's second straight Arkansas Derby winner. He won with Bodemeister last year.

Oxbow drew the far outside No. 10 gate and was made the 5-2 choice. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the colt was edged by stablemate Will Take Charge in last month's Rebel Stakes.


ARKANSAS DERBY

What: Kentucky Derby prep race

When: Saturday, 6:28 p.m.

TV: NBC-18

Purse: $1 million (Grade I)

Distance: 1 1⁄8 miles

Derby points: 100 to winner, 40 for second, 20 for third, 10 for fourth.

PP Horse Jockey Odds

1 CarveSantana20-1

2 War Academy Smith 2-1

3 Divine AmbitionGraham20-1

4 Falling Sky Garcia 10-1

5 Den's LegacyAlbarado6-1

6Heaven's RunwayOcampo30-1

7 Texas Bling Borel 20-1

8 Frac Daddy Lebron 15-1

9 OveranalyzeBejarano4-1

10 Oxbow Stevens 5-2

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