04/03/2012 4:59PM

Santa Anita: Talamo nearing 1,000th victory


ARCADIA, Calif -  Jockey Joe Talamo is on the verge of his 1,000th career win.

Talamo, 22, had three winners at Santa Anita on Sunday, ending the day with 999 career wins. The Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s leading apprentice of 2007, Talamo has four chances to hit the four-figure milestone on Thursday. He rides Lady Fairbanks in the third race, Splendid Fortune in the fourth, Veloce Canzone in the sixth, and Let’s Go Cheyenne in the seventh.

Splendid Fortune may be his best chance. A 3-year-old filly by top sire Giant’s Causeway out of the seven-time stakes winner House of Fortune, Splendid Fortune was second in her debut under Talamo on March 10. She lost by a half-length in a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs that day and is part of a field of nine on Thursday.

Splendid Fortune is trained by Baffert. Talamo rode Baffert’s 2,000th career winner, Free Pourin, on Dec. 5, 2010 at Hollywood Park. “It would be nice to get the 1,000th on one of his,” Talamo said of Baffert.

“I’d like to get it as early as possible, to get it out of the way.”

Tuesday, Talamo took a day off to visit Palm Springs, Calif., a rare day off for a rider known for working horses nearly every day of the week.

“It’s good to get away to freshen up,” he said. “I didn’t have to work this morning.”