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Talamo to Ride M One Rifle in Palos Verdes

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 Canada 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 Canada: 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.”



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