Photo: Sarah Andrew
No. 2 on Del Mar’s all-time jockey stakes victory list, is back after
being based in the East for 15 months and hoping to add to his victory
41, has 96 Del Mar stakes victories, among them multiples in such major
events as the Eddie Read (5), Bing Crosby (5), Pat O’Brien (4) and Del
Mar Derby (4). He also guided Lava Man to victory in the 2006 Pacific
Classic and Winning Pact in the 1993 Futurity.
96 stakes wins from 1991 to 2009 are one more than Laffit Pincay Jr.
and Alex Solis; two ahead of Eddie Delahoussaye and Bill Shoemaker – all
of them retired except Solis – but 38 behind retired leader Chris
feels great to be back,” Nakatani said Tuesday morning before riding a
workout for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “I had some great
opportunities and rode for some great outfits back East. I thank them
for that, but my family here is the main reason I’m coming home.”
lives in the L.A. suburb of LaVerne. His wife Lisa is a registered
nurse working at Arcadia Methodist Hospital across the street from Santa
Anita. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Lilah.
my daughter on the phone saying ‘Daddy, when are you coming home?’ and
making the commute (cross country on off days from racing) has been
tough,” Nakatani said.
also has four children from a previous marriage: Brittany, 20, Matthew,
19, Austin, 18, and Taylor, 14. Matthew is a kicker for the University
of Louisville football team.
agent is Brian Beach, who is also booking mounts for Yuichi Fukunaga,
the top rider in Japan who has relocated to Southern California for the
we’ll get some good chances with good barns, so I can go after
McCarron and cut that lead down,” Nakatani said. “I feel like I’m wiser
and I’ve matured a lot and hopefully, like a good wine, I’m getting
better with age.”