Author: Wynn Elliott

Cohen Hoping to Repeat Riding Title

Oaklawn Park Press Release David Cohen came to the 2018 Oaklawn meeting trying to jumpstart his riding career. Clearly, he’s done that. Cohen rode 75 winners last year at Oaklawn to edge perennial champion Ricardo Santana Jr. and claim his first local riding title. Cohen, 35, was a rising star a decade ago before a freak injury and the deaths of his father and sister derailed his career for more than three years. Now, Cohen enters a new decade as a defending riding champion, and a newlywed, after marrying Ashleigh Porter – the jockey proposed on the day of the 2018 Belmont Stakes – Sept. 4 in Louisville, Ky. “It’s a little different, but we don’t look at it that way,” Cohen said during training hours Jan. 5 at Oaklawn. “We were fortunate and blessed last year. Just happy to be here safe and healthy. As long as that continues, God willing, we’ll be OK.” Cohen rode his first winner in 2004 and five years later ranked sixth nationally in victories (288) and 24th in purse earnings ($7,357,326) – both career highs – competing in New York and the Mid-Atlantic. In 2012, Cohen won Saratoga’s prestigious $1 million Travers Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds aboard 33-1 long shot Golden Ticket, who dead-heated with favored Alpha. “I’ve been riding long enough to know it’s a roller coaster,” Cohen said. “Hopefully, you’re...

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Jockey Joe Talamo Among California Contingent Now at Oaklawn

Oaklawn Park Press Release The Southern California invasion is underway at Oaklawn and among the big names already on the grounds in advance of the Jan. 24 opening is jockey Joe Talamo. Talamo’s resume includes an Eclipse Award as the country’s top apprentice jockey in 2007, a Breeders’ Cup triumph in 2009 and 2,003 victories and more than $100 million in purse earnings in his career through Tuesday, with the bulk of that success coming in Southern California, where he rode regularly for more than a decade before announcing in November that he was relocating to the Midwest. “It was a big decision,” Talamo, 30, said during training hours Monday morning. “At the same time, I think there’s a lot more opportunity out here, as far as riding more and possibly winning more, hopefully. It was a hard decision, but kind of an easy one at the same time.” Talamo had more than 1,000 mounts annually in 2007-2014, including a career-high 1,472 in 2007 and 1,247 in 2013. But mirroring the shrinking horse population in Southern California, and an accompanying decline in field sizes, Talamo rode only 547 horses last year, fewest since his first year to ride professionally in 2006. “I just turned 30, so I know I’m getting older, but I still feel like I have a lot of good years left in me,” said Talamo, who...

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Cabrera Enjoys Successful Start to Sam Houston Park Meeting and Wins Jockey of the Week

  Fresh off the 2019 Remington Park riding title, David Cabrera continued his winning ways during opening weekend at Sam Houston Park and was named the Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for Jan. 6 – 12.  The award is voted on by a panel experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, an organization which represents 950 riders in North America. The award is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 equine toxin remover. Cabrera won five races on Saturday at Sam Houston.  For the week he won seven races from 16 mounts for a 44%...

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Apprentice Rider Cardenas Fast Learner at Aqueduct Winter Meet

NYRA/Aqueduct Press Release Apprentice jockey Luis Cardenas picked up his first victory with his 15th career mount when he guided 3-1 Solitary Gem to a 3 ½ length victory in the Friday finale at Aqueduct for owner-trainer Leah Gyarmati. The 22-year-old Cardenas didn’t rest on his laurels also picking up his second career win aboard 5-1 Majestic Affair for conditioner Mertkan Kantarmaci in Saturday’s third race. A native of Peru, Cardenas immigrated to the United States in 2009 when he was 12-years-old and began working with horses in South Carolina. Following a move to New York in 2017, he picked up work as an exercise rider for various trainers on the NYRA circuit including Gyarmati, Bruce Levine, and Randi Persaud. Cardenas was appreciative of all the trainers who gave him an opportunity on his path to becoming an apprentice rider. “It’s very exciting and emotional,” said Cardenas following his first win on Friday. “It’s very overwhelming to be riding here in New York, especially to be racing with the big guys in this colony. When I came to New York, Randi gave me my first opportunity to get on horses and then I went on to work for Bruce Levine and later Leah, who gave me the opportunity to ride Solitary Gem. I was lucky to bring her home.” A 5-year-old Gemologist mare, Solitary Gem picked up her first...

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Newcomer Rispoli Well Received at Santa Anita

Santa Anita Press Release By Ed Golden Umberto Rispoli is a new name to California but under the tutelage of world-class agent Ron Anderson, it could become familiar in a hurry if his first eight days riding at Santa Anita are an indication. The 31-year-old is a native of Italy where he won riding championships in 2009 and 2010, most recently having ridden in Hong Kong. Through the first eight days of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet, Rispoli has four wins, four seconds and two thirds from 20 mounts. “The reception for Mr. Rispoli so far has been good,” said Anderson, who also represents Joel Rosario, the current meet leader with 12 wins. “Umberto has ridden all over the world, dirt, turf, sprints, routes, for all kinds of people, won graded stakes everywhere he’s been. “He’s a newcomer here but he’s been well received. We’re very excited and business is picking up every day. He’s opened some eyes with a couple of his rides already, so we’ll see what happens moving forward.” Share this:PrintTweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like...

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