The Velazquez family had some hard times this year, on a statement issued by the Jockeys’ Guild, Velazquez suffered an injury to his first rib on his right side and chipped the radius bone on his right wrist when he went down during a race. Velazquez said that he and his wife, Leona, wanted to thank all the people who sent well wishes since he sustained the wounds. He met with his orthopedist, Dr. Stephen O’Brien, and Leona Velazquez.
We just wanted to thank everyone for the messages. I’m doing real well.
Velazquez met his wife in USA. He and his wife, Leona, are the parents of Lerina and Michael Patrick. She grew up with racing, so she knows better than the majority of wives what the life is like. Still, there are tests.
Velazquez is the daughter of trainer Leo and Joan O’Brien. Leona married Johnny in 1994, four years after he arrived in the United States fresh off graduating from the Puerto Rico Jockey School. Leona’s milieu helped both families to the adjustments.
I understood (horse racing) more than Johnny’s family. His parents had never been to the racetrack. He was the first one in his family to have anything to do with it. They would get very nervous after (setbacks) and say, Oh, you should quit and come home to Puerto Rico,and I’d have to say, No, he wants to be somebody. He could do real well as a jockey.I had a real good background for helping his family.
Leona jokes with Johnny’s valet that she welcomes a good race.
I know when it’s a good ride, I know when it’s a good race.”Some wives and girlfriends are really nervous watching. Some don’t even watch the races. I text him right away after the race and say, ‘good race.’
Read more on Leona here.