03/23/2011 1:19PM

Gomez splits with agent, wants to spend more time in California

Justin N. Lane
"The idea is to be home more," said Gomez. "I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old."

ARCADIA, Calif. – Santa Anita jockey Garrett Gomez, who led the nation in purse earnings four of the past five years, will hire a new agent in coming weeks while aiming to cut down on travel and spend more time with his family in California.

Gomez confirmed Wednesday that he and agent Ron Anderson will end their five-year business relationship after Santa Anita Derby weekend, April 9-10. Anderson will relocate to Kentucky; he has taken the book of jockey Alan Garcia effective with the start of the Keeneland meet on April 8.

Based on earnings, the Gomez-Anderson relationship was the most successful in the nation the past five years. Gomez mounts earned more than $100 million from 2006 through 2010; he led the earnings list from 2006 through 2009.

MORE: Gomez gets mount on Silver Medallion in Santa Anita Derby

“We did really well together,” Gomez said, referring to Anderson. “He did an excellent job, and I rode hard.” However, the jockey desired to travel less and spend more time with his wife and two young children. Meanwhile, Anderson wanted to pursue business in the Midwest and East.

“The idea is to be home more,” Gomez said. “I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and I’d like to see them more nights than not. I may still go to Keeneland, but California will be my home base.”

Gomez was expected to ride regularly this spring at Keeneland, with Anderson as his agent. A misunderstanding between jockey and agent surfaced after Anderson took Garcia’s book for Keeneland. The split between Gomez and Anderson occurred Tuesday.

“I’m going to go east, and he wants to stay here,” Anderson said. “There are no ill feelings. [Gomez] is a great guy. He is an American success story.”

Gomez, 39, said Wednesday he has not hired a new agent, nor finalized riding plans for spring. “I’m going to see who I have, and what kind of options I have.”

Gomez owns a home in Southern California where he lives with his wife, Pam; son Jared, 10; and daughter Amanda, 8. Winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2007 and 2008, Gomez recently was honored with the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.