Velazquez has harsh words for Maragh
John Velazquez said he believes that jockey Rajiv Maragh was careless in his handling of Isn’t He Perfect shortly after the start of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, causing Velazquez to nearly become unseated from Animal Kingdom in the early stages of the race. Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up eventually finished sixth as the 5-2 favorite in the Belmont.
Further, Velazquez said he thinks Maragh may have deliberately taken a left-hand turn aboard Isn’t He Perfect to impede Mucho Macho Man, a horse Maragh had been taken off after riding him in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Mucho Macho Man, under Ramon Dominguez, broke from post 10, in between Animal Kingdom and Isn’t He Perfect.
Velazquez said he complained to the Belmont stewards about Maragh’s handling of Isn’t He Perfect. The stewards will have all the riders in Wednesday to go over films of the start of the race.