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
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
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.”