Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will receive a leg up on Wildcat Red in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 29.
Velazquez will be the fifth different jockey in as many starts to ride the 3- year-old for trainer Jose Garoffalo.
"I'm very happy with that. I like him," Garoffalo said. "He was the best option and he's going to ride the horse in the Florida Derby. We're all happy with Johnny V. I think he's going to get along well with the horse. He knows every horse. He knows how to ride.
"I haven't had the opportunity to talk to him yet but the kind of horse he is, he is very easy to ride. I don't have to say too much. He knows what he is doing. I talked to the owners, and everybody's happy."
Wildcat Red, owned by Honors Stable, won the Fountain of Youth Stakes last month at Gulfstream just weeks after claiming the Hutcheson Stakes there. The colt began 2014 with a runner-up result to General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Year's Day. In those three stakes, Wildcat Red was ridden respectively by Paco Lopez, Javier Castellano and Luis Saez.
The colt has won four of six starts with two seconds for $475,850.