Oaklawn Park Press Release

Photo: Santa Anita Park

Jockey Joe Talamo, previously based in Southern California, has made a huge splash in his first season as an Oaklawn regular. Through Friday, the 37th day of the scheduled 57-day meeting, Talamo led all jockeys in stakes victories (six) and ranked second in purse earnings ($2,281,058).

“I really didn’t have any kind of expectations, to be honest,” Talamo, 30, said during training hours Saturday morning. “Obviously, I just wanted to come in and try to do as well as I could. More than anything, I’m just very pleased with the barns, the outfits, that have given me opportunities. Really, couldn’t be happier.”

Talamo’s six stakes victories through Friday had come for four trainers – Tom Amoss, Brad Cox, Ron Moquett and Mac Robertson.

Talamo won the $125,000 Dixie Belle for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 15 aboard Ring Leader (Robertson), $300,000 Honeybee (G3) for 3-year-old fillies March 7 aboard Shedaresthedevil (Cox), $150,000 Hot Springs for older sprinters March 7 aboard Whitmore (Moquett), $350,000 Essex Handicap for older horses March 14 aboard Night Ops (Cox), $350,000 Azeri (G2) for older fillies and mares March 14 aboard Serengeti Empress (Amoss) and the $90,000 Gazebo for 3-year-old sprinters March 21 aboard Long Weekend (Amoss).

“Look, I’ve been supporting Joe since the meet began,” Amoss said moments after the Gazebo. “He’s the right guy for me.”

Talamo credited his agent, Jake Romans, the son of trainer Dale Romans, for putting him in a position to lead all riders at the meeting in victories and purse earnings.

“It’s kind of some interesting circumstances around,” Talamo said. “It’s funny. Last year at Santa Anita when we didn’t race for a month (the track was closed following a spike in equine fatalities), I thought that’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened. Going through this is weirder, by a landslide. Hat’s off to management. They’re doing everything they can for us to keep racing. They’re pretty relentless on us guys. We have to take temperatures twice a day. We can’t be too close to each other. We’re definitely doing our part so, hopefully, we can keep rolling.”

Talamo said he still plans to ride the Kentucky circuit after Oaklawn’s scheduled close, May 2.