03/11/2010 12:00AM

Rosario changes agents

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Jockey Joel Rosario, who won three riding titles in Southern California in 2009, has switched agents, replacing Vic Stauffer with Ron Ebanks, the agents said on Thursday.

The change takes effect immediately, Ebanks said. Through Wednesday, Rosario was second in the Santa Anita standings with 42 wins, trailing leader Rafael Bejarano by 19 victories. Last year, Rosario won riding titles at the Hollywood Park spring-summer and fall meetings and at Del Mar.

Stauffer, who will continue to represent Martin Garcia, said he was "very surprised" by Rosario's decision. "He said he could do better with someone else," Stauffer said.

Ebanks will no longer represent cousins Michael Baze and Tyler Baze. Michael Baze is in the process of relocating to the Chicago circuit, Ebanks said on Thursday. Tyler Baze has not chosen another agent, Ebanks said.

Ebanks said he and Rosario had talked of working together "a few years ago" but nothing came of it at the time. "He was interested in me and I was interested in him, but it wasn't the right timing," Ebanks said.

They spoke about the matter on Wednesday, when Ebanks agreed to represent the 25-year old Rosario.