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Posted by on 1/20/2014 8:00:43 PM

With Joel Rosario moving his tack East, the spots have opened up for some hungry riders in Southern California and online sports betting site players could to worse than give special attention to horses ridden by Joe Talamo.

“Say it ain’t so Joe” is a quote associated with Shoeless Joe Jackson involving the World Series Black Sox scandal but there is nothing scandalous about Talamo.

The kid is a baby going on 50 mentally and he is picking up confidence every single day. Early in his career he was compared to Wonder Kid, Steve Cauthen, who won the last Triple Crown with Affirmed.

He won the Santa Anita Derby 4 years ago with Sidney’s Candy and after winning the Wood Memorial in 2009 with I Want Revenge, Talamo was poised to ride the morning line favorite in the Kentucky Derby but the runner injured his ankle and was forced to scratch.

The youngster has already won a Breeders’ Cup race for trainer Brian Koriner. He took the Turf Sprint in 2009 and the conditioner had this to say, Koriner: “Joe is very dedicated, something exceptional to see at such a young age. His whole like revolves around being a jockey. He goes to bed early. He works out and on his days off, he thinks about what it takes to get better.”

The pedigree is there too. He is the son of a long time trainer and assistant trainer in Louisiana and Talamo was the first apprentice even to win a riding title at Fair Grounds. He grew up with horses in his backyard so it’s like second nature to him.

Talamo left school in the 10th grade and when you do what you love, it’s not a job. He is like all good athletes committed to winning whether it’s on a $10,000 claimer or in a Grade 1 stakes.

What was initially pivotal in his career is that he moved to California at the encouragement of the late, great Bobby Frankel, who said, “the kid rides a horse as well as any rider I have ever seen.”

And Frankel saw all the great ones.

Talamo also had a commitment to ride for some top trainers in New York at the time but he loved the weather and the people in California. He traveled East for a few days, saw that it was snowing, hopped a plane back to Cali and the rest as they say is history.

For the record, Talamo was 2nd just 3 wins away from winning the riding title in the last stand at Hollywood last fall. He won with 19% of his starters and 50% were in the money. At the Del Mar meeting last year his mounts earned more money than all by 3 of the riders.

He was second in the standings at last year’s Santa Anita meeting and one of only 3 riders whose mounts earned over $3 million at the meet.

Currently, he has won with 13 of his first 95 mounts at this Anita stand and has been a little unlucky as 31 of his starters ran 2nd and third. He trails only Rafael Bejarano and Hall of Famer Mike Smith in purses earned and that means trainers are putting him on good horses.

He’s no ordinary Joe.

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