#US RACING: Jockey John Valazquez replaces Flavien Prat on Preakness winner Rombauer for Belmont

John Velazquez
John Velazquez

Rombauer will have a new rider in the June 5 Belmont Stakes as Hall of Famer John Velazquez will take over in the irons for Flavien Prat, who last Saturday piloted the colt to an 11-1 upset in the Preakness Stakes. Earlier this week, Prat opted off Rombauer to ride his Kentucky Derby mount in the Belmont, Hot Rod Charlie.

As confirmed by trainer Michael McCarthy to Horse Racing Nation Saturday, Daily Racing Form first reported Velazquez would take his shot at a third Belmont win aboard Rombauer. He previously won in 2012 with Union Rags and in 2007 with the super-filly Rags to Riches.

Three weeks ago, Velazquez won the Kentucky Derby aboard Medina Spirit and the Kentucky Oaks with Malathaat, but both have since been removed from consideration for the Triple Crown's final jewel.

Prat returns to Hot Rod Charlie after a good third-place try in the Derby where they were beaten just a length by Medina Spirit.

Earlier on Saturday, it was confirmed Mike Smith would ride Rebel's Romance for trainer Charlie Appleby in the 1 1/2-miles classic.


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