08/05/2010 10:31PM

Jockey power shift: Talamo, Baze sidelined


The young guys in the Del Mar jockey colony are getting beat up this summer.

First it was Tyler Baze, injured at the starting gate July 24 and out for the meet.

Next it was Joe Talamo. He sustained a fractured wrist in a spill Thursday and is out for the meet.

Both jockeys were on a roll. Baze, 27, was the third-leading rider during the spring-summer meet at Hollywood.

Talamo, 20, is second in the Del Mar standings and the meet’s leading grass rider with six wins.

With both guys out, who will step up? Which jockeys will fill the Baze-Talamo void?

Joel Rosario has pulled clear. He entered the weekend eight wins in front, and is on his way to a second consecutive Del Mar riding title.

Rafael Bejarano has yet to find his rhythm. It was not his fault Cost of Freedom jumped in the air at the start of the Bing Crosby last weekend, but it never helps business when an odds-on favorite loses a Grade 1 due to bad luck.

Victor Espinoza has won four stakes; his business will increase with Baze and Talamo out. David Flores is re-emerging. Martin Garcia will get going as soon as trainer Bob Baffert gets going.

Meanwhile, two veteran jockeys that were considered fringe players when the meet began are now potential prime players – Corey Nakatani, 39, and Pat Valenzuela, 47.

Nakatani returned from Kentucky. Valenzuela returned from Louisiana. Both returned from obscurity.

Nakatani has a reputation as a hothead, but his riding ability is never a question. And few jockeys are better on grass than Nakatani.

Valenzuela has been known to go AWOL due to personal issues. And at this stage of his career, some considered his return to California a freak show. It is not.

In fact, Valenzuela is riding well and working hard. He still puts his mounts into the race. He allows them to use their natural speed. Nakatani also is riding well.

Baze and Talamo are not riding at all.

As the third weekend of the summer meet begins, Nakatani and Valenzuela have re-emerged.

Their impact on the Southern California jockey colony will be felt. The degree of significance is strictly up to them.

Billy Pittman More than 1 year ago
Patrick Valenzuela is my favorite jockey, bar none. I wouldn't be surprised if he won the jockey title at Delmar. Martin Garcia is the future king. He could end up being as good as Laffit pincay, Jr. But Joel Rosario is unreal. I've never seen any jockey mature and improve the way he has. He is a clutch rider and I hope they all stay in Cali. Billy P.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Give the man a break! Yes, P. Val, has had many chances in So. Cal ... Please, instead of calling it a "freak show," show some compassion.
Binky Mcfadden More than 1 year ago
Nakatani didn't get run out of California, he left on his own. Solis wasn't getting mounts so he left. Gomez had the mounts, but thought he would cash in on Monmouth purses and muti-stakes back east ... but East Coast jockeys didn't give up mounts just because he came to town.
bloodstock More than 1 year ago
Brad, how can you overlook the resurgence of David Flores ? Not a mention? Anyone who has spent anytime around the backside knows David's talent as a rider is unquestioned. With the addition of Craig O'Brien by his side. things have begun to click. Come on how about some props.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the jockey show ,is it coming back your comments and that show would be special.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
P Val looks like he is riding well. Nak could still be the top turf rider in So. Cal. As good as Rosario is I think turf is still a learning experience for him, I am not sure he is any better than he was 12-18 months ago, still puts horses in wide trips etc. I would put the odds at 3/5 that Solis will also be back in So Cal before Santa Anita starts.