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Velasquez Right At Home At Santa Anita--Bob Mizerski

Move Over, Bill Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay and Angel Cordero.

Any day now, Jorge Velasquez will join those little giants in an exclusive club. Only about $100,000 separates the 41-year-old Panamanian from $100 million in career earnings.

That Velasquez is going to reach this figure shouldn't come as a surprise. He has won over 5,800 races, including a record 57 stakes in 1985, and has ridden money makers such as Alydar, Chris Evert, Lady's Secret and Breeder's Cup winners Proud Truth and Twilight Ridge.

What is a bit startling is the location where he'll reach the milestone. Rather than his longtime stomping grounds in New York, he'll join Shoemaker, Pincay and Cordero in California.

A sometime performer here in years past, he decided late last year to come west for the winter, further strengthening what is already the world's best jockey colony.

Tied for ninth in the standings with 14 victories, including a $193.60 shocker aboard Landseer in yesterdays opener, Velasquez is satisfied with the way things are progressing.

"I knew it wouldn't be easy because the competition's tough already and the local riders are already settled and have their customers.If you work hard enough, you'll get there. If I keep working and my agent keeps working, thre'll be no stopping us. If you sit on your butt, you wont go anywhere."

With Camilo Marin ill, Velasquez is trying to establish a foothold with a new agent, Rene San Miguel.

"I hope Camilo makes it through. They found a bleeding ulcer. I am praying for him."

To be continued.