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May 06, 2011

Velazquez gains Derby mount on Animal Kingdom


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Despite the scratch of Uncle Mo from Saturday's Kentucky Derby, jockey John Velazquez will be aboard one of the starters in the race.

The award-winning rider has picked up the mount of Spiral Stakes winner Animal Kingdom.

Team Valor, owner of Animal Kingdom, said Friday morning that the decision to replace Robby Albarado with Velazquez came after Albarado took off his mounts Thursday and Friday at Churchill Downs. Albarado suffered a broken nose Wednesday when he was kicked by a horse in the Churchill Downs paddock.

Trained by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom is 30-1 in the morning-line and will start from post 16 in the 19-horse field. The chestnut colt has won two of four career starts, with two seconds, for $326,900.

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