05/18/2010 11:00PM

Landeros makes the right move


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Jockey Chris Landeros made a bold move last spring when, at the age of 20, he left his home base of Northern California to test the waters in Texas. It turned out to be a heck of a decision.

Landeros is sitting in a good spot to win his second straight Lone Star Park title after a recent two-week run in which he won 15 races from 47 mounts. The hot streak has given him a seven-win advantage in the standings, which he leads with 37 wins through Wednesday. It has been a strong run for Landeros, who said he and his agent, Scott Hare, were not quite sure what to expect when Landeros moved his tack to Lone Star in April 2009.

"We thought we'd have a solid meet last year," Landeros said. "But to get leading rider, to beat Cliff Berry, who I respect a whole lot - he's like the Russell Baze of this circuit - when that happened, it made me very, very happy.

"I think that impressed some people, and this year when I came in, it's different now. It's going well. I've had some pretty good trainers supporting me."

Landeros has teamed often this meet with Karl Broberg, who is the sixth leading trainer in wins in North America. Another regular supporter is trainer Jack Bruner, who ranks third in the standings at Lone Star.

"Chris is a good person, a good kid, aggressive and wants to win," said Bruner.

Landeros, 21, comes from a racing family. His grandparents owned horses, his father is an assistant to trainer Mike Puype at Santa Anita, and two uncles work in the sport. Landeros won his first race at Turf Paradise in January 2006. He rode winters at the Arizona track early on before riding full time in Northern California.

"I was doing good," he said of his time in Northern California. "I was getting on a good amount of horses, but I was looking for a place to ride more. There's a limited amount of horses there."

Landeros had instant success upon his arrival at Lone Star, winning the first title of his career here over the track's all-time winningest rider, Berry. Landeros then set up shop at Remington Park in Oklahoma City and finished third in the standings. He proceeded to winter at Sam Houston, where he was the second-leading rider, before coming back to Lone Star. Following the July close of this meet he will return to Remington, and from there, Landeros said he is considering wintering at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

"It seems like there's a lot of opportunities out here," he said. "It's going well and I look for it to get better now that I know a lot more people. I have really high expectations for Remington."

Landeros added that Hare, who also represents Aaron Gryder, has played a key role in helping him get a foothold in the region.

"I love it here," said Landeros.