12/21/2007 1:00AM

Talamo gets a new agent

EmailJockey Joe Talamo, the leading contender for the Eclipse Award as the outstanding apprentice jockey of 2007, has switched agents, replacing Ron Ebanks with Scotty McClellan, the jockey said on Friday.

Talamo, 18, said the change was made on Thursday and will take effect at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that begins on Wednesday.

Talamo said he thought that a conflict existed between him and Tyler Baze, whom Ebanks also represents. Through Thursday, Baze was second in the Hollywood Park standings with 27 wins, while Talamo was in sixth place with 16 wins. Garrett Gomez led all riders with 34 wins.

"I wanted to go in a different direction," Talamo said. "Me and Tyler are fighting to get to the top. We’re good friends. It’s part of the game. It’s time to move on."

Ebanks said that Talamo recently asked him to represent only one rider. Ebanks was Talamo’s agent as the jockey rose to prominence in the winter of 2006-07 at Fair Grounds and when he relocated to California in April.

Ebanks will continue to represent Baze. McClellan also represents Alex Solis. Talamo said he did not see a conflict with McClellan representing two jockeys.