So far, so good for jockey Joe Talamo.
After one-third of Oaklawn's scheduled 57-day meeting, Talamo is tied for third in the standings with 13 victories and ranks second in purse earnings ($816,777) at the Hot Springs, Ark., track. Talamo, 30, is riding regularly for the first time at Oaklawn after previously being based in Southern California, where he earned an Eclipse Award as the country's outstanding apprentice in 2007.
“It's gone really good,” Talamo said earlier this week. “I couldn't be happier with my meet. I've ridden some really good horses, riding for some really good outfits. Everything's going good. I just keep working hard, plugging along and, hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Among the horses Talamo has ridden are Grade 1 winner Whitmore for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Grade 1 winner Knicks Go for trainer Brad Cox, Grade 2 winner Bravazo for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Grade 3 winner Lone Sailor for trainer Tom Amoss and Grade 3 winner Remembering Rita for trainer Doug Anderson of Hot Springs. Knicks Go, Lone Sailor and Remembering Rita – all victories – were in allowance races. Talamo also won the $125,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies aboard unbeaten Ring Leader for trainer Mac Robertson.
Only defending champion David Cohen (110) and six-time Oaklawn leader Ricardo Santana Jr. (102) have had more mounts at the meet than Talamo (88). Cohen and Santana each have a meet-high 20 victories.
“There's definitely a lot more horses here, a lot more opportunities,” Talamo said. “That was really one of the big factors of me coming here. It feels good just to ride a lot, win a lot. Like I said, hopefully, we can keep that going.”
Talamo is represented by agent Jake Romans, the son of trainer Dale Romans. Talamo said he plans to make Arkansas and Kentucky his year-round circuit.
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