Del Mar: ‘Rebuilding’ And Redemption The Priorities For Arroyo During Bing Crosby Meet

A victory aboard California Silver in the third race on closing day of the 2016 Bing Crosby meeting, his 12th of the fall session, was the difference as Norberto Arroyo, Jr., claimed the jockey title by one over Flavien Prat and Drayden Van Dyke.

The title capped an excellent first six months in California for the 41-year-old native of Puerto Rico after his relocation from New York. He finished the 2016 Del Mar summer season sixth in the standings with 19 wins and then took the Crosby title when Van Dyke’s late charge came up short and Prat missed the last week of racing due to injury.

It’s been a “roller coaster” ride, in Arroyo’s words, since the happy ending to the last Bing Crosby meeting and today’s start of season No. 4.

Juggling the responsibilities of being a single parent to 5, 6 and 10-year-old children and the demands of competing against Hall of Fame veterans, solid journeymen and hot newcomers during the past year has been difficult. So much so that the relationship with his brother/agent Nelson, was strained to the breaking point. It was Nelson who had orchestrated the move from New York to California, with Team Arroyo gearing up five days before the start of the 2016 Del Mar summer meeting.

The partnership of brothers, so successful through two Del Mar meetings, dissolved here in August but was rejoined about three weeks ago. And both say that the process of recovering business which was lost and repairing associations that were damaged, begins with this meeting.

“We’re back together, we’re starting over and we’re going to build back to where we were,” Nelson said. “The reason I’m bringing him back is that he’s 100 percent committed again, and when he’s 100 percent he’s one of the best there is. And I’m not saying that because he’s my brother.”

During the Del Mar seasons of 2016, Norberto said, the children were in Kentucky with their mother. After custody battles, they’re with him now.

“It has been rough, but I have no regrets and I’m happy now,” Norberto said. “I’m proud about being a good father.”

Equibase statistics for 2017 have Arroyo rated No. 114 among North American riders with 42 wins from 267 mounts and earnings of $2,125,026. He has 1,333 career wins from 9,368 starts and purse earnings of more than $48 million.

Arroyo has two mounts on the opening day card, Duke of Fallbrook (12-1) in the third race for trainer Antonio Garcia and Sandbed (12-1) for Clifford Sise, Jr., in the nightcap ninth.

With the Breeders’ Cup only two days away, many of the celebrated New York riders, notably John Velazquez and Javier Castellano, that Arroyo bested when he won 188 races on the circuit in 2000 are in town. “Absolutely there’ll be some reunions, they’re my home boys,” Arroyo said.

When the Breeders’ Cup is over and the regular meeting continues, the rebuilding will begin in earnest, Norberto said.

“We’re back together, we’re communicating well and I know that my brother and I have the tools to build the business back and win more races.”

The post Del Mar: ‘Rebuilding’ And Redemption The Priorities For Arroyo During Bing Crosby Meet appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.


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