Rosario, Anderson Take On Santa Anita ‘Just Looking For A Change’

by | 12.18.2018 | 6:31pm
Jockey Joel Rosario and groom Alex Escobar celebrate after Accelerate's victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Joel Rosario was a superstar waiting to happen before Ron Anderson took his book.

Since the jockey and agent joined forces in August of 2012, it's been a match made in heaven, a rocket ship ride that has catapulted the 33-year-old Dominican Republic native and his 63-year-old mentor among racing's elite.

Rosario's career likely will one day be culminated with a place in the Hall of Fame.

Anderson's agenda has Rosario riding full time at Santa Anita this meet, which makes sense, considering he is the regular rider of Horse of the Year contender Accelerate, bound for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park Jan. 26, and undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner and early Kentucky Derby favorite Game Winner, both based at Santa Anita.

Among the top six money earners among jockeys during his career, Rosario had made his headquarters primarily on the East Coast before heading west again. He had made Southern California his home in the past, however.

“There are lots of things going on,” said Anderson, who in a career of some four decades has also represented Jerry Bailey, Gary Stevens, Chris Antley, Garrett Gomez and Kent Desormeaux. “With Joel, we were just looking for a change, that's all . . . We just wanted a change and we'll see what happens.”

Anderson attributes basic common sense to his success over the years.

“At the end of the day, it's not jockey racing; it's horse racing,” he said. “So the agent and the jockey have to get on the right horse. Generally, a jockey can't make a horse win. It's a combination of things, and I've been lucky enough to have represented the right riders.

“People have asked me what it takes to become a top agent, and there's no real blueprint to any of this. It's all about being correct with people . . . We're in a business that if you're winning at 15 or 210 percent, you're setting the world on fire, so it's a lot more negative than positive.

“Plus, there's so much more going on in most people's lives than winning the third race on Friday. It could be turmoil with parents or kids, health issues, problems at work, trouble with the spouses, so you've got to understand that when you approach people to make a pitch, it's good to catch them at the right time and not be a source of annoyance.”

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