John Velazquez needs the luck of his Irish relatives to win Kentucky Derby
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This was supposed to be John Velazquez's year to shine at the Kentucky Derby , the year the hoodoo that has struck top trainer Tod Pletcher and his top jockey, know to everyone as Johnny V, was banished.
Instead it is back bigger than ever.
Eskendereya was the Big Horse, who would end the 0-24 streak for Pletcher in the Derby but it was not to be.
The horse showed up lame right before a planned workout and is out of the Derby. After ambling home in the Wood Memorial he would have been a hard bet favorite on Saturday
That left Johnny V in the lurch once again.
He knows adversity though and he is surely hoping the luck of his Irish connections will rub off for him.
Johnny is married to Leona O'Brien, (pictured with him) ,daughter of Dublin-born trainer Leo O'Brien, famous for his horses such as the legendary Fourstar Dave and Fourstar Allstars.
Johnny V wil get the leg up on Pletcher's top filly Devil May Care who will go off around 10 to one on Saturday. She will be running against boys, but Rachel Alexander proved last year that it can be done.
Since she added blinkers Devil May Care has improved by leaps and bounds and will stay every inch of the mile and a quarter.
Johnny can certainly handle fillies. He rode Rags to Riches to her famous victory over Curlin in the Belmont in 2008 -- still his only classic win in a career full of milestones and achievements
Now another filly may end the Kentucky Derby jinx for Johnny and his trainer.
Johnny V will certainly be hoping so.