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Joe Talamo making a run at first Southern California riding title

October 18, 2012|By Eric Sondheimer
  • Jockey Joe Talamo helped trainer Bob Baffert win his 100th stakes race at Del Mar earlier this summer.
Jockey Joe Talamo helped trainer Bob Baffert win his 100th stakes race at… (Benoit Photo )

There could be a changing of the guard taking place at Santa Anita, where 22-year-old jockey Joe Talamo is making a strong bid to win the autumn riding championship.

Talamo won four races Thursday at Santa Anita, giving him 20 for the meeting while moving out to a four-win lead over Rafael Bejarano in the jockey standings.

Talamo has never won a riding title in Southern California. Bejarano and Joel Rosario have dominated in recent years.

But Talamo has been making steady progress and seems in ideal position to challenge Bejarano. The meeting ends Nov. 4, and Talamo should have some live mounts in the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.

Bejarano also figures to be in excellent shape, getting to ride the top horses in the Bob Baffert barn.

Talamo and Bejarano engaged their horses in a long stretch duel Thursday in the second race that ended with Talamo and Tribal Jewel winning by a head over Bejarano and Motown Men.

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