Joel Rosario, winner of 10
riding titles in Southern California, will begin competing in New York on a full-time basis beginning
Wednesday. The native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic
was named to ride Searchingforahero in race 2 and Handsome Jack in race 8, the
$85,000 Track Barron overnight stakes.
Ronnie Ebanks, said the jockey will ride at Betfair
through Sunday before flying to New
York on Tuesday. Rosario, who won the Santa Anita
riding title for the second straight year in 2012, is third in the Betfair
Hollywood Park spring/summer meet standings with 24 wins through Thursday,
trailing Rafael Bejarano (47 wins) and Joe Talamo (31).
Ebanks said he and Rosario had been considering moving east for a
while, and with John Velazquez – the recent winner of the Grade 1 Belmont
Stakes and Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap who is currently 10th in
the Belmont standings – expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken
collarbone they decided now would be the best time to make the change.
is] 27, he’s in the prime of his riding career, and with a top rider out
for a while it seemed like this was the right time to make the move,”
said Ebanks. “We’ll arrive here Tuesday and start kissing babies
and shaking hands and try to build up our business before Saratoga.”
Rosario’s biggest win in New York so far came in 2010 when he
piloted Blind Luck to a neck victory over Havre de Grace in Saratoga Race
Course’s Grade 1 Alabama. He won the 2009 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup
Sprint at Santa Anita with Dancing in Silks and the 2010 Grade 1 Breeders’
Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs with Dakota Phone. In addition, he has
captured Grade 1 races such as the Blue Grass, Eddie Read, Gamely, Humana
Distaff, La Brea, Las Virgenes, Malibu, Matriarch, Pat O’Brien, Queen
Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, Santa Anita Oaks, Santa Monica, Triple Bend, and
Yellow Ribbon, among others. On June 9, he guided Teeth of the Dog to victory
in the Easy Goer on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
“They’ve seen him win the Alabama, Breeders’ Cup races and other
Grade 1s, but I think they’ll gain a new appreciation for him when they
begin to see him ride on a day-to-day basis,” said Ebanks.
Through Thursday, Rosario
was sixth in the 2012 North American jockey standings by earnings ($6,169,966)
and 10th by wins (116). His most lucrative season to date came in
2010 when his mounts earned $15,897,538, placing Rosario
third in the North American standings behind New York riders Ramon Dominguez and John