Less than 24 hours after the announcement that top jockey Joel Rosario was leaving the Southern California circuit to head to the East Coast, the scramble has begun to take over his business.
"All the agents and jockeys said they'd pitch in and help him get to the airport," jockey agent Scott McClellan said.
And he wasn't joking. Rosario has won 11 riding titles in Southern California, including the recent Santa Anita meeting. His agent, Ron Ebanks, announced on Sunday that Rosario would be leaving to ride in New York on June 27.
His departure creates opportunities for a strong jockey colony in Southern California. The most likely beneficiaries to challenge Rosario's main competitor, Rafael Bejarano, are Garrett Gomez, Martin Garcia and Joe Talamo.