by Jay Privman
DEL MAR, Calif. – Seeking opportunities to ride more races and earn more money, jockey Joe Talamo, a mainstay on the Southern California circuit for a dozen years, said he has decided to relocate to Oaklawn Park for the start of that track’s meeting on Jan. 24 and will ride on a year-round circuit that includes Arkansas and Kentucky.
“For me and my family, it’s a good time to head back there,” Talamo said. “There should be more opportunity – full fields, and the purses are astronomical.”
Talamo and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons – Vincent, 3, and Dominic, 1 1/2.
“They’re young enough that they’re not in school yet, they’re not teenagers, or in grade school. It would be tougher then,” Talamo said. “They’re young enough that the move comes at a really good time.
“I’m young. I’ve got a lot more good years. I’m jumping in with both feet.”
Talamo, 29, began his career in his native Louisiana, but moved to Southern California – under urging from the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel – in 2007 while still an apprentice and won that year’s Eclipse Award as the champion apprentice jockey. In the years since, he has won numerous major races on this circuit – including the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Handicap – as well as the Wood Memorial and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.