INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 19, 2013)—Jockey Joe Talamo completed a weekend stakes sweep Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park with a victory aboard favored Iotapa in the $74,920 Railbird (video).
Shortening up after finishing second behind Beholder – the 2-year-old filly champion of 2012 – in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks April 6, Iotapa was reserved off the pace, rallied outside Tres Belle and pacesetter Hail Mary around the turn and went on to win by 1 ¼ lengths over Ciao Bella Luna.
Iotapa’s third win in four starts came a day after Talamo captured the $150,250, Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap with 9-1 outsider Open Water and the $100,500 Fran’s Valentine Stakes with 9-2 shot Unusual Hottie.
JOE TALAMO, IOTAPA, Winner: “We had a great trip. She was pretty much loaded for bear today. I really just had to point her in the right direction. I’m glad John (Sadler) gave me the opportunity to ride. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with her this summer.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, CIAO BELLA LUNA, Second: “I was in perfect position right behind the leaders. When I got to the stretch I was in the clear, but (Iotapa) I tried to keep up with just took off. The winner was just much the best.”
Saturday was a pretty good day to be Joe Talamo.
Not only did the 23-year-old native of Louisiana sweep both stakes races at Betfair Hollywood Park, taking the $100,500 Fran’s Valentine with 9-2 shot Unusual Hottie and the $150,000, Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap with 9-1 outsider Open Water, he got to see his mentor – Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens – go gate-to-wire aboard Oxbow, the upset ($32.80) winner of the Preakness.
“I thought it was great,” said Talamo. “I was so happy for Gary. Even as a little kid I always looked up to him. I remember I was 11 when he won (the 2001 Preakness) with Point Given.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 19, 2013)—One of the on-air personalities from Television Games Network (TVG) will play host for the Hollywood Insider Saturday, May 25.
Handicapping tips, insights and other last minute information will be offered on the afternoon’s races, including the Grade II, $150,000 American Handicap for older horses at one mile on turf.
Hollywood Insider will begin at 12 Noon at the Paddock Tote Board.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 19, 2013)—Veteran jockey Agapito Delgadillo will be the guest of co-hosts Michael Burns and George Ortuzar at the next Escogiendo Ganadores (Picking Winners) session Saturday, May 25.
During the Spanish-language seminar, Delgadillo, Burns and Ortuzar will discuss the Betfair Hollywood Park card, including the $150,000 American Handicap, a Grade II for older horses at one mile on turf.
Escogiendo Ganadores will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Paddock Tote Board.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 18, 2013)—Taking advantage of a quick early pace, Open Water earned her first victory outside Kentucky, upsetting favored Lady of Fifty in the $150,250 Marjorie L. Everett Handicap Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The victory by the 9-1 shot gave jockey Joe Talamo a sweep of the afternoon’s stakes. More than three hours earlier, Talamo teamed with Unusual Hottie to capture the $100,500 Fran’s Valentine.
Trained by Eric Guillot for a partnership that includes Southern Equine Stable LLC, Mike Smith and Whispering Oaks Farm LLC, Open Water sat well off a spirited duel between Maker Or Breaker and Sister Kate, rallied in tandem with Lady of Fifty while outside the 7-10 choice and ultimately prevailed by one length.
JOE TALAMO, OPEN WATER, Winner: “Her last two works were very impressive. She galloped out real strong. It really worked out great. You could tell they were rolling up front. On this track you just can’t go that fast early. She was in between horses at about the 4 1-2 (furlong pole) and (Lady of Fifty) was kind of pressing me a little, so I took back and went outside of her. At that time, she took a couple of breathers and I think that really helped down the lane. She was really game.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, LADY OF FIFTY, Second: “She was in a good position, but I didn’t have enough horse.”
JOE TALAMO, UNUSUAL HOTTIE, Winner: “Man, she sure is sweet to ride. Everything went perfect. I saved all the ground, swung out and she just took off. I could see the horse outside me starting to get out on the turn, so it was easy to get through.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, TOP KISSER, Third: “I was comfortable all the way and trying to save my horse. She was in good position, but in the stretch she started making a (breathing) noise. I think that cost her the race.”
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