06/28/2010 11:00PM

Nakatani returning to California


Jockey Corey Nakatani will resume riding in Southern California on a full-time basis later this month, according to his new agent, Tommy Ball.

Nakatani, who has ridden at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs this year, will begin riding at Hollywood on July 9 or 10 and will focus on the Del Mar meeting, which runs from July 21 to Sept. 8, Ball said.

Ball said Nakatani may entertain a return to Southern California beyond Del Mar, if he is successful.

"He said if he's doing good, he'll leave the door open," Ball said. "He left because his business was slow and he saw the opportunity to ride for some people at Oaklawn."

Nakatani has not ridden regularly in California since last fall. In May, he returned to ride Victor's Cry in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park. Victor's Cry is a candidate for the $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes on July 24.

Last summer, Nakatani moved into second on the list of stakes wins for a jockey at Del Mar, with 96 victories. He trails all-time leader Chris McCarron, who has 134.

"If he has a good meet that will be a feather in his cap," Ball said.