Swiss Skydiver (right), ridden by Robby Albarado, resists to maintain the advantage over Authentic (9), raced by Puerto Rican John Velázquez, in the 145th edition of the Preakness at the Pimlico Race in Baltimore. (Steve Helber)
Veteran Puerto Rican jockey John Velázquez finished second on Saturday riding Aunthentic in a close Preakness Stakes race at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore.
Swiss Skydiver, ridden by Robby Albarado, prevailed by a nose against the favorite ridden by the Carolinense, while his compatriot Jevián Toledo finished third with Jesus' Team in the 145th edition of the prestigious event.
Velázquez, 48, a member of the American Horse Racing Hall of Fame, was seeking his first career victory at the Preakness. Down the stretch, he came from behind to catch up with Swiss Skydiver, almost on par with his rival on a thrilling final stage.
Graduated in 1990 from the Agustín Mercado Reverón Equestrian Vocational School in Canóvanas, Velázquez had just won the Kentucky Derby with that horse last month. It was the third time that the veteran rider won the prestigious race, the most famous in the American equestrian.
Velázquez has also won the Belmont Stakes twice. He started from the ninth place with the wide seed (9-5) Authentic in the 1 3/16 mile distance event.
With the triumph of Swiss Skydiver, it is the sixth filly to have won the prestigious race, which this year was the last of those that make up the Triple Crown of American horse racing, an unprecedented event. The last filly to win the competition was Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
The Preakness at a nearly empty racetrack was held four weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three and a half months after the Belmont. The order of the three races was altered for the first time since 1930.