Dead Heat: Bejarano, Maldonado Share Riding Title at Betfair Hollywood

by | 07.15.2013 | 8:00am
Rafael Bejarano with Paynter

Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Edwin Maldonado shared the riding title at the final Spring/Summer meet – which concluded Sunday – at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The tie – 51 wins apiece – atop the standings was the first at a S/S season in 67 years and only the third in the history of the legendary track, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

Ralph Neves and Jack Westrope both won 56 races in 1946 while John Adams and Silvio Coucci each won 46 times during the inaugural meet in 1938.

Joe Talamo, who began the final week of the 49-day meet with a four-win lead over Bejarano and a seven-victory cushion over Maldonado, finished third with 50 wins, but did have a meet-high 10 stakes successes.

Maldonado and Bejarano won twice Sunday. The former took the second with Brandon's Princess and third with Unseen Visitor while Bejarano, the defending S/S champion, won the fourth with Tribal Peace and seventh with Ethnic Dance.

The leading rider at the 2012 Autumn season, Maldonado had an opportunity in Sunday's final race to take the title by himself, but his mount – 2-1 favorite Saint Leo – finished third.

Neither jockey was displeased with the outcome.

“A tie is OK for me, '' said Bejarano, who has five riding titles – including the 2010 Oak Tree season run locally – at Betfair Hollywood Park. “I'm happy.

“I wish in the 10th race, Talamo (who finished last on Love That Action) would have won so we could have had a three-way tie for the first time. If I couldn't win it all, I wish we could have all finished together.''

This sentiment was shared by Maldonado.

“I'm super happy right now,'' he said. “I was pushing for Talamo in the 10th because I would have loved to see a three-way tie. I'll settle for a tie since I was seven behind going into the last week, so it's just as good.''

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