Transplanted Talamo Among End-Of-Meet Leaders At Ellis Park

Joe Talamo secured his first riding title on his new Kentucky circuit, PTK LLC earned its first Ellis Park owners title and Brad Cox and Kenny McPeek tied for leading trainer as the RUNHAPPY Summer Meet at Ellis Park concluded Sunday. The details:

Talamo takes riding crown 20-18 over Bejarano, Graham
Joe Talamo was one of the leading riders in California when he relocated this winter to embark on a Midwest composed of Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park for the winter and Kentucky the rest of the year. Riding at Ellis Park for the first time, the 30-year-old Talamo won 20 races for a two-win edge as meet leader over Rafael Bejarano and 2019 riding champ James Graham. Bejarano missed the last nine racing days after undergoing a surgical procedure. He won two riding titles early in his career at Ellis Park, returning to Kentucky this spring after 15 years riding in California.

“It feels really good,” said Talamo, who won a race both Saturday and Sunday to pull out of a tie with Bejarano. “Obviously Bejarano didn’t ride the last couple of weeks, so that definitely helped quite a bit, in all honestly. But more than anything, I was just really happy that we got into some nice barns and outfits and won on some really nice 2-year-olds this meet that I’m really excited about in the coming months. I think quite a few of them have a bright future.”

Talamo’s victories included the $50,000 Ellis Park Turf on Mitchell Road for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Sprint aboard Into Mystic for Brendan Walsh.

“I really have to thank all the owners and trainers who supported me this meet, gave me good opportunities,” he said, adding of his agent, Jake Romans, “Obviously Jake did a great job. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.

“I love it there. We had a great time. It was really competitive, some really good jockeys there, some really good trainers running horses there. I know with COVID, the purse structure got cut down. But still, the last couple of weeks the money was pretty good, and I see that only getting better the next few years. I’m looking forward to being there next summer as well.”

Cox garners third title, while McPeek wins first at the Pea Patch
Brad Cox, who also won the Ellis Park training title in 2015 and 2018, had four chances to break out of a tie with Kenny McPeek on Sunday but settled for a tie at 10 wins apiece after his best finish was second on the closing card.

McPeek had won training titles at Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Kentucky Downs but had never been the meet leader at Ellis Park, where he was stabled for 10 summers early in his career. With no horses running at Ellis Park, he kept tabs on how Cox was doing Sunday on the app Horse Races Now, which McPeek developed.

Cox sent out a meet-high 53 starters, who also accumulated 11 seconds and fourth thirds. McPeek had only 25 starters, with two seconds and a third.

“We had a great meet,” McPeek said. “We had a lot of horses who came into it perfect. I liked the distance 2-year-old races, and I think we even had one win going short. Overall, the team did a great job. We brought up some from Florida (where he has a year-round division) to run, so it was a great summer. It’s a fun meet.”

Cox did win the money title at $450,261, including stakes victories with Factor This ($100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup) and Mundaye Call ($100,000 RUNHAPPY Audubon Oaks).

“I was happy with the meet,” he said. “It’s a great place to start a lot of young horses, to get them going. Whether they won or not, at least we got some races into them and the meet offered a lot of options as far as turf and dirt. The place has been extremely good to us, and we think a lot of Ellis Park. We’re able to stable there, and it’s a big part of our operation for sure. It’s a good meet, and we’re looking forward to bigger and better things to come.”

PTK dominates owners standings with six wins
With Dane Kobiskie as their trainer, PTK LLC won with six of 23 starters, with three seconds and three thirds, to easily take the owners crown. No other owner won more than three races.

PTK is named for Paula and Tom Haughey and their daughter, Kaitlin, of Charlottesville, Va.

“My amazing mom, our P, actually passed away unexpectedly in late March,” Kaitlin Haughey said in an email. “PTK was her baby, and we know she must be proud of this achievement.

“Winning the Ellis Park owners’ title is really a testament to all the many people and horses who keep PTK functioning on a day-to-day basis. It’s been a hard year for everyone, yet everyone has persevered. It is an honor to see our employees’ hard work pay off and to have it do so in the beautiful state of Kentucky is icing on the cake. We look forward to increasing our Kentucky racing activity, and Ellis will certainly play a big role in that.”

The post Transplanted Talamo Among End-Of-Meet Leaders At Ellis Park appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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