11/27/2010 1:59PM

Southern California riders in for Jockey Challenge

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Monday will not simply be another day at the office for Portland Meadows’s leading jockey Joe Crispin.

Crispin will lead a team of fellow Portland Meadows riders – Javier Martinez, Mark Anderson, and Troy Stillwell – in the second Annual XpressBet Jockey Challenge against Team Southern California’s Joel Rosario, Joe Talamo, David Flores, and Martin Pedroza.

Prize money of $20,000 is up for grabs in the four-race series in which jockeys were randomly assigned mounts.

“Ever since I heard I was selected, I’ve been excited,” said Crispin, who tied his own record by winning seven races, including the Dennis Dodge Memorial and the Mt. Hood Stakes – on the Nov. 17 card. “It makes me feel great, representing Portland Meadows.”

Crispin is looking forward to competing against old friends Flores and Pedroza and meeting emerging stars Rosario and Talamo, but he’s excited simply to be competing.

“I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time. Two years ago I didn’t get a chance to ride,” said Crispin.

He was scheduled to ride in the first Challenge in which Portland riders defeated their counterparts from Northern California on Jan. 7, 2009, but he fractured a hip in a spill barely a week before that event and missed it.

Crispin says fans he has talked with enjoy the chance to watch the visiting riders compete. There will be a special pre-race autograph session beginning at 11:30 a.m. with both the visiting and local riders.

Talamo will ride 5-2 morning-line favorite Caballito de Mar in the fourth race, which begins the Jockey Challenge at 2:04 p.m. Pacific. Stillwell is on the 7-2 second choice Mufaajy.

Anderson rides the 3-1 favorite Sassy Britches in the fifth race with Pedroza aboard 4-1 second choice Schu Smartie Jean.

Flores rides 3-1 favorite Dancin Candy in the sixth with Stillwell aboard 7-2 second choice Mr. Ichiban.

Talamo drew the assignment on 5-2 favorite Brainstorm in the seventh with Rosario aboard 3-1 second choice Decatur Island. Anderson, who will ride 6-1 Castle Pines, is the 7-year-old gelding’s regular rider.

There will be a special $25,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on the Jockey Challenge races. Portland’s low 14 percent takeout will be in effect for the wager.

The Jockey Challenge races will be carried on HRTV with Peter Lurie and Richard Migliore covering live at the track.