05/10/2017 12:16PM

Gallardo rejoins agent to focus on Monmouth this summer

Tom Keyser
Antonio Gallardo, back with agent Mike Moran, will ride primarily at Monmouth this season.

Antonio Gallardo has won an extraordinary number of races over the past several years. He was second only to Jose Ortiz in 2016 with 332 wins and the prior year was the runner-up to Javier Castellano with 320 victories.

But things have been different this year for Gallardo, who has won only 20 races coming into opening day of the Monmouth Park season.

Gallardo split with his agent, Mike Moran, at the beginning of October and began riding in New York. Although things started well, Gallardo moved his tack to Gulfstream Park for the month of December, where he won eight races. He then returned to Aqueduct but never really got going again and went 20 for 181.

Gallardo took the month of April off. He went on a cruise with his wife and spent time with his family. Now freshened up, he and Moran have reunited and will be based at Monmouth this summer.

“I’ve been bouncing around too much,” Gallardo said. “We are going to ride at Monmouth and then travel out of town when we have mounts.”

Gallardo, a 29-year-old native of Spain, had a remarkable season at Monmouth in 2016. Although pulling double duty at Presque Isle Downs – where he won his third consecutive title – and riding part time at Monmouth, Gallardo won 48 races, including nine stakes. He finished fifth in the standings.

In addition to the Presque Isle titles, Gallardo and Moran topped the rider standings at Tampa Bay Downs from 2014 to 2016. Moran, a former rider with more than 2,000 wins, has great confidence in Gallardo’s ability.

:: Like this article? Get access to all premium articles, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

“I think Antonio is a genius on a horse,” Moran said. “Nobody does prerace preparation like him. I’m 57, and I have kids older than him. We talked every day for three years. He’s like a son to me.”

Monmouth will indeed be a family affair for Moran this year. His brother Cory is the agent for Paco Lopez, who will be shooting for his fifth straight Monmouth title.

Mike Moran also will represent Edwin Gonzalez, who finished second in the standings at the recently concluded Tampa Bay Downs meet. Gonzalez won six races at Tampa on May 10 and four on closing day of the meet last Sunday.

“Edwin is going to ride at Delaware Park when it opens in June,” Moran said.