Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• TALAMO READY TO END FIVE-YEAR RUN OF BEJARANO, ROSARIO
• EXCITEMENT IN THE AIR AS SANTA ANITA HOSTS BREEDERS’ CUP
TALAMO SET TO UNSEAT REIGN OF BEJARANO, ROSARIO
Joe Talamo is sitting on a breakthrough achievement. With four racing days left in Santa Anita’s 24-day Autumn Meet, the 22-year-old rider holds a 30-20 lead over runner-up Rafael Bejarano and is on the verge of becoming the first jockey other than Bejarano or Joel Rosario to win a riding title at a Southern California track (other than Fairplex Park) since the 2007 Hollywood Park Fall Meet, when Garrett Gomez did the trick.
“It’s really been a dream meet,” the personable Louisiana native said. “My agent, Scotty McClellan, couldn’t be doing a better job since we hooked up four years ago. He’s just been a dream to work with. I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument.
“He works hard; he’s there (at the track) just about every morning. We’ve really had good meets, in the top three or four all the time. This year, we’re just getting on a lot better horses, thanks to the support of the owners and trainers. I think that’s made a big difference.”
Not to mention the unflappable confidence and enthusiasm that is part of Talamo’s DNA.
“He doesn’t burn any bridges and he’s got a good demeanor and attitude,” McClellan said. “Everybody likes talking to him; he’s always kidding around, except when he’s riding. He’s serious then, but when he’s finished, his personality shines through. He’s a great kid.”
Added Bob Baffert, who has Talamo on his “A” list of go-to riders along with Rafael Bejarano and Martin Garcia: “Joe was a future star of the jockey colony when he came here.
“He has natural ability and horses run for him. That’s the number one thing, that horses run for him. Not all jockeys fit every horse, and if Joe fits a certain horse, I’ll put him on.”
FANS DESCEND ON SANTA ANITA FOR BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
With Santa Anita the focal point of the racing world on Friday and Saturday as it hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for the sixth time, there was no dearth of dignitaries Thursday morning at Clockers’ Corner.
Among those huddled in conversation were retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. , now an agent representing John Velazquez, and Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, still going strong at the age of 80.
“It’s back like the old days,” said retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye as he milled among the masses that included everyone from first-time visitors to racing legends. “It’s exciting and it shows that when you have the Super Bowl of racing, it brings out people who really love it.”
FINISH LINES: East Coast titans Todd Pletcher and Shug McGaughey participated in a Breeders’ Cup press conference at 9:30 Friday morning. While Pletcher maintained his belief that the Breeders’ Cup should rotate regularly among various national venues, McGaughey said he has become convinced that good weather and “star power” have become top priorities, an indication that he’d be inclined to favor having the two-day event run regularly in Arcadia . . . John Sadler stands at 1,996 career training wins entering Thursday’s card at Santa Anita . . . Rhythm of Light, an English-bred filly trained by Thomas Dascombe, likely will remain in the U.S. with trainer Simon Callaghan after she competes in Sunday’s closing day feature, the Grade II, $150,000 Goldikova Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on the turf. “She has nice form overseas,” Callaghan said of the 4-year-old daughter of Beat Hollow, whose last race was a victory in Turkey under 132 pounds . . . This notice from Daily Racing Form: “Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the DRF.com site is currently experiencing outages. We are doing everything possible under the circumstances to restore DRF.com to full operating capacity. In the meantime, you may continue to access and purchase past performances and other digital products using the links below, or via the links on the "Handicapping and PPs" tab here: http://www1.drf.com/emergency.jsp. If you are having trouble reaching DRF Bets (https://bets.drf.com), contact customer service at 1-877-408-1999 for assistance. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please check the DRF.com Facebook page (facebook.com/racingform) and our Twitter stream (@DRFinsidepost) for regular updates.” . . . Sunday, closing day, is Fan Appreciation Day. Enjoy $1 General Admission, general parking, programs, sodas and popcorn. There will also be a mandatory payout for the Pick Six and Super High Five . . . Standard Time resumes Sunday. Set your clocks back one hour Saturday night. Santa Anita will have an early first post time of 12 noon on Sunday. -30-