Joe Talamo went from stakes-winning jockey to quick change artist to tuxedoed wedding guest in just over a half hour Saturday afternoon.
Here's the Talamo timeline, provided by his agent Scott McClellan:
The featured $100,990 Let It Ride Stakes at Del Mar goes off, according to the official chart at 3:31. One minute, 34 and 61/100th seconds later, Talamo gets Risky Proposition ($47) under the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Choo Choo and Calexman who are heads apart for second and third.
Talamo goes through the post-race ceremonies and interviews then hustles to the jockeys' room to shed silks, shower and don a tuxedo. With McClellan as wheelman, they motor to Rancho Santa Fe where Talamo is dropped off at 4:02 and is seated in time for the nuptials of a high school friend of his wife Elizabeth.
In retrospect, McClellan said Sunday morning, the upset win in the Let It Ride was the easy part of the day because McClellan and trainer Bill Spawr had a plan.
The plan was to run Risky Proposition in an allowance race that was listed as a “sub” in the condition book or, in the likely event that race didn't fill (which it didn't), opt for the one-mile turf test of the Let It Ride.
Talamo had been aboard for the 3-year-old gelded son of Bodemeister's last five starts, two before and three after he was claimed by Spawr for $50,000. The feeling was that Risky Proposition was improving despite the fact that he was 0-for-5 since his last victory in June, the first time under Talamo.
“It was a little surprising that he won,” McClellan conceded. “But he has been coming from off the pace lately and you have to get a good trip to win like that. It was a little smaller field (7) and Joe was able to get him out in the clear and he really responded.”
One stakes win chalked up, Talamo could be a threat for the stakes upcoming today and Monday as he rides the “other” horses for trainers Phil D'Amato and Bob Baffert. D'Amato has the 5-2 favorite in Just Grazed Me for today's $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes, with Tyler Baze riding, and 5-1 S Y Sky with Talamo.
In the featured Desi Arnaz Stakes on the special Veterans' Day program Monday, Baffert will send out 6-5 favorite Chasing Yesterday with Drayden Van Dyke in the irons and 6-1 Der Lu under Talamo.
Remember the most recent Del Mar Futurity in September when Baffert's Roadster finished third as the 7-to-10 favorite and 8-5 Game Winner, the recent Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, prevailed.
“You throw them in if they're doing well, and you can't worry about it,” Baffert said. “It's an equal opportunity barn.”
“Chasing Yesterday and Itsjustanillusion (7-5) have accomplished more and are definitely the horses to beat,” McClellan said. “But a lot of times being the favorite means you've got a target on your back for the others in the race and things can happen. We've worked Der Lu and she's doing fine.”
The field from the rail: Der Lu (Joe Talamo, 6-1), Andyoushallreceive (Tiago Pereira, 8-1), It'sjustanillusion (Flavien Prat, 7-5), Chasing Yesterday (Drayden Van Dyke, 6-5) and Boujie Girl (Rafael Bejarano, 6-1).
The Desi Arnaz will go as the second race on an eight-race card.
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