With world-class newcomers and Hall of Fame members in the jockey colony, riding competition figures to be keen during Santa Anita's Winter Meet which begins Dec. 26.
Among those in the fore is Abel Cedillo, who tied with Flavien Prat for Santa Anita's Autumn title at 21 wins each. Agent Tom Knust realized he had a star in the making when he saw Cedillo dominating at Golden Gate Fields before moving his tack south.
“I knew he was a very talented rider from watching him in the Bay Area,” Knust recalled. “I knew he could compete down here.
“I didn't really know his work ethic, but it's been unbelievable. He works horses every single day and doesn't complain about anything. He just wants to ride. You can put him on any horse, and he wins with longshots.
“I'm impressed with his attitude. Competition here will be strong. To me, (Joel) Rosario is one of the best riders in the country, and Prat has already proven he's one of the best. It will be fun because I think Abel can compete with them, but you can't take anything away from either one of those riders.”
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