11/03/2010 12:56PM

Talamo liked what he saw in Muny


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – For a jockey not at Churchill Downs this weekend, jockey Joe Talamo could be in the right place. He will be in high demand at Hollywood Park on Friday and Saturday with many rivals from the jockeys’ room out of town.

Friday, Talamo rides Muny in the $55,000 Riot in Paris Stakes over a mile on turf. A 5-year-old gelding, Muny won the 2008 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita, but lost his next four starts before winning a $50,000 claimer on Oct. 16 in his 2010 debut.

Talamo worked Muny in advance of that race, but did not ride because of another commitment. Jockey Martin Garcia had the mount on Muny, but he is at Churchill Downs on Friday. Talamo saw Muny’s win and noted that the gelding was not speed-crazy.

“I like how he settled,” Talamo said Wednesday morning. “If you look at his previous form he looks like a speed horse. They’ve given him some time off and he’s come back to himself. He’s training lights-out. In the mornings you can do what you want.”

The Riot in Paris Stakes drew a field of six, and is led by Blue Chagall, the winner of the restricted Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar on July 28. Trained by Julio Canani, Blue Chagall was last of six in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile on Oct. 9.

Red Door Drive, third in the Ralph Hinds Handicap at Fairplex Park on Sept. 26, and Classical Slew, a closing fourth in an optional claimer on Sept. 30, also start. The Riot in Paris Stakes will be Classical Slew’s first career start on turf.

Talamo has mounts in all eight of Friday’s races at Hollywood Park. The program begins at 12:15 p.m. and is run in conjunction with the Breeders’ Cup simulcast from Churchill Downs.

Wednesday, Talamo said the decision to stay home was made in an effort to build business after missing five weeks at Del Mar because of a broken wrist.

“We had a long talk about that – whether to go or not,” he said, referring to a conversation with his agent, Scotty McClellan. “Every since I came back from Del Mar I’m trying to get back into some good barns. I haven’t taken a day off and I think it’s made a big difference.”