Joe Talamo is scheduled to ride M One Rifle against Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Award finalist Amazombie in next Saturday’s Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes for older horses at six furlongs, and is excited about the opportunity.

“He loves this race track,” Talamo said of the 6-year-old son of One Man Army who won the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in 2009. “He trains here and I know Bruce (Headley) has the utmost confidence in him, and if he does, I do, too.”

Talamo, who recently celebrated his 22nd birthday, has ridden M One Rifle only once, last out, to a third-place finish in the Grade III Vernon O. Underwood at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26.

“He’s a great horse to ride,” Talamo said of the California-bred gelding. “I only rode him one time and that was a freak of a race, as fast as they went (six furlongs in 1:08 3/5). I thought I was in a real good position but the leader (eventual winner, Pacific Ocean) just kept on going. My horse actually made up a lot of ground for as fast as they went.”

Talamo was off to an uncharacteristically slow start at Santa Anita this meet, but he’s learned not to be discouraged.

“I was surprised,” the Louisiana native said, “but you’ve got to stay positive and keep working hard. I went to Eddie D.’s house (retired Hall of Fame jockey and fellow Cajun Eddie Delahoussaye) on New Year’s Day, and he told me, ‘Man, I was oh for 86 one time.’

“I said, ‘Don’t tell me that. That means I can go oh for 160.’ I mean, if it could happen to him, it could happen to anybody.”

Added Delahoussaye: “Slumps happen to everybody, but you’ve got to keep going. I told Joe not to change anything. Just keep working hard.”

Talamo also is scheduled to ride Include Me Out in next Sunday’s Grade II La Caňada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. He has ridden the stretch-running daughter of Include four times, last out to a fifth-place finish in the Grade I La Brea Stakes at seven furlongs.

“She’s bred for distance,” Talamo said. “She has the ability to route and think she wants to.”

Probable for the Palos Verdes: Amazombie, Mike Smith; Courtside, Joel Rosario; Euroears, no rider; Frumious, no rider; Galientos, no rider; M One Rifle, Talamo; and Sway Away, no rider.

Probable for the La Caňada: Great Hot, Chantal Sutherland; Include Me Out, Talamo; May Day Rose, no rider; and Tiz Flirtatious, Joel Rosario.

Tiz Flirtatious, unbeaten in three starts, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in a bullet 1:11.80 with Rosario up. “She went real nice,” trainer Marty Jones said. “We plan to go.”


One man’s loss is another man’s gain, the saying goes, and it applies to Martin Garcia in Monday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Gabriel Stakes for older horses at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Garcia regained the mount on even-money morning line favorite Jeranimo through an injury to Garrett Gomez, who had ridden the 6-year-old Congaree horse to an impressive win in the Grade II Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26.

Garcia won the Grade II Oak Tree Mile on Jeranimo last October, then finished sixth aboard the Mike Pender-trained bay in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 5. In 2010, he registered a 10-1 upset on Santa Anita’s synthetic surface in the Grade II Strub Stakes.

“I’m happy that Pender gave me another chance,” Garcia said. “Not that I did anything wrong on the horse. The Breeders’ Cup was a pretty tough race. I rode the horse three times and won two big races, so I hope I can win again on Monday.”

The field for the San Gabriel: Sandor, Corey Nakatani, 8-1; Ashtar, Kevin Krigger, 12-1; Norvsky, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Jeranimo, Martin Garcia, 1-1; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza, 5-2; and Imponente Purse, Chantal Sutherland, 8-1.

Santa Anita will offer bargain concession fare on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with $2 beers, hot dogs and soft drinks. First post time is 12:30 p.m.


The Cat with Nine Lives has nothing on Martin Pedroza. For seemingly the umpteenth time in his career of more than 30 years, the 46-year-old jockey escaped with not even his pride hurt after a ninth-race spill yesterday.

Pedroza, aboard Teasing Bernie, was closing in outside of leader Mon Couer in deep stretch when Mon Couer drifted out and bumped Teasing Bernie, knocking him off-stride. This caused Teasing Bernie to clip heels and hurtle face-first to the dirt while unseating Pedroza in full view of an aghast grandstand crowd at Santa Anita.

Miraculously, both horse and rider came out of the incident none the worse for wear, although Mon Couer was disqualified by the stewards from first and placed ninth.

“I think the inside horse came over slightly,” Pedroza explained to HRTV’s Zoe Cadman. “I should have gone to the left, but I thought I was going to get by Mon Couer. He came out just enough that I clipped his heels.”

Asked how he keeps bouncing back from such mishaps, Pedroza said: “First of all, the good Lord watches over me. Everybody asks me the same question. I do my prayers and I leave it in God’s hands.

“Other than that, it’s me being fit. When you’re fit, your body can take the little beating that we take here and there.”

Pedroza was back working horses as usual Sunday morning.


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters have announced that the 41st annual Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, The Stronach Group and Breeders’ Cup, will be broadcast live tomorrow on HRTV, Racetrack Television Network (RTN) and The Eclipse Awards will take place at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

The Eclipse Awards, honoring Thoroughbred racing’s champions in 17 horse and human categories, will air from 4 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dissemination of the Eclipse Awards broadcast and internet stream is being made available courtesy of Eclipse Awards Official Partner Roberts Communications Network (RCN). RCN will distribute the live television broadcast to all commercial simulcast outlets, its sister company RTN (available on DISH Network channels 9701-9785), HRTV, and select regional racing cable channels. The internet stream and a digital archive for replay purposes will be available on, and

"RTN and Roberts Communications Network are honored to work with the Eclipse Awards partners and to bring this broadcast to viewers around the world,” said RTN President Todd Roberts. “DRF is extremely pleased to be streaming the Eclipse Awards and contributing DRF’s exclusive coverage and analysis, creating a terrific viewing experience for Thoroughbred racing fans and our industry partners,” said John Hartig, CEO, Daily Racing Form.

The Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, The Stronach Group and Breeders’ Cup, are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.


Professional horse player Jimmy (The Hat) Allard is hoping to expand his field of expertise in future airings of LUCK, the HBO series that premiers Jan. 29 and was filmed in large part at Santa Anita.

“(Producer) David Milch hired me as a consultant on LUCK for a bit and has told me if the show is real successful, he’ll see to it that I have some type of a decent role in it, so we’ll see what happens,” said Allard, who tomorrow celebrates the anniversary of his greatest score at the races.

“It was Jan. 16, 1989, that I picked nine winners in a row and hit the Pick 9 at Santa Anita,” Allard said. “I had the only winning ticket, which cost me $3,840. It paid $1,061,861.20, but after taxes, I got $848,000.”

FINISH LINES: Tapizar, impressive front-running winner of Saturday’s San Fernando Stakes, came out of the race in good order and likely will start in the Grade II Strub Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 4. “We’ll definitely consider that race,” trainer Steve Asmussen said . . . Zazu, winner of the Grade I Lady’s Secret Stakes last year, is due in Monday from Rancho Paseana Training Center in Rancho Santa Fe, John Sadler reported. “She had a little shoulder issue and it should be all resolved,” the trainer said . . . Jaycito, winner of the Grade I Norfolk Stakes in 2010, worked five furlongs at Hollywood Park Sunday in a bullet 59 seconds for Bob Baffert, fastest of 32 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.59 . . . The California Horse Racing Board will conduct its regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 19, in the Baldwin Terrace Room at Santa Anita Park beginning at 9:30 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend . . . Charles Stutts is back at the track after recovering from a bout with osteomyelitis, which infected his spinal cord. “I was out three months,” said the 70-year-old native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, who has two horses in training and has been in the game for 50 years . . . There were 192 players alive in ShowVivor entering Sunday’s races . . . Mike Smith needs 18 wins to reach 5,000 in his Hall of Fame career.