Scotty McClellan To Represent ‘Very Focused’ Umberto Rispoli In Southern California

by | 03.21.2020 | 3:59pm
Umberto Rispoli

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Scotty McClellan become a jockey's agent.

His late father, Chick McClellan, had a long and successful career as an agent, teaching Scotty everything he knew along the way. His son learned well, reaping the rewards representing Hall of Fame members Chris McCarron and Alex Solis, the former for 21 years, the latter for 17, some 14 of them during the same time Scotty had McCarron.

McClellan enjoyed a run of 13 years with Joe Talamo prior to his leaving Southern California for greener pastures back east in early January, but not before recording his 2,000th career victory.

Joe's departure presented McClellan with a rare opportunity: time to smell the roses, which he did.

But now, at a youthful 65, it's back to business. After a three-month respite, McClellan officially begins anew April 10 with condition book number six, calling the shots for Umberto Rispoli, a two-time champion in his native Italy who has taken Santa Anita by storm, hobnobbing with Joel Rosario, Abel Cedillo and Flavien Prat in quest of the Winter Meet crown.

The 31-year-old Rispoli had been represented by super-agent Ron Anderson until he decided to add John Velazquez to his bailiwick, joining Joel Rosario and leaving Umberto shocked and agentless.

“Ron called and asked if I'd be interested in working for Rispoli, and I said yes,” related McClellan, a longtime friend and business associate of Anderson's, “and Ron said he would help make it happen. That took quite some time, and after the devastation dissipated and Umberto returned from resolving visa issues overseas, he sought input from different trainers, quite a few of whom voluntarily recommended me.”

When the smoke cleared, McClellan liked what he saw.

“Umberto is very focused and researches the horses he rides quite a bit,” Scotty said. “He also studies the main contenders and tries to figure out how he can win the race, factoring in surfaces, pace, post, etc.

“On dirt here, you likely need to be in a contending or tracking position. It doesn't mean you can't close, but it's harder with the kickback.

“I've watched him ride a few times but because of this coronavirus, I'm limited and in a weird spot. I don't want to be running around the barn area trying to drum up business, because I have no (condition) book (with prospective races) now anyhow. I'm more concerned about my health, my wife's, my Mom's and my little granddaughter's.

“I want to see them, but I also don't want to risk making them ill. I feel great, but this is just the way things are.

“Once I knew I'd have Umberto, I contacted people to let them know, but until I have a book, I'm kind of laying low before the time comes for me to work, because it's just crazy right now.”

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