Joel Rosario has won three of the first five races at Santa Anita today, pulling into a second-place tie with Garrett Gomez in the rider standings with 24 victories — one behind Rafael Bejarano, who has won all five major SoCal meets since moving west in late 2007.
Rosario, who changed agents after a slow start at the Hollywood Park autumn meet, is the real deal. He enjoyed a banner 2008 and is off to a great start during the 2008-09 Santa Anita winter-spring meet. Vic Staufer, Hollywood Park’s announcer, is now booking mounts for Rosario.
If Bejarano is going to keep his streak alive, he’s going to have to earn it. Both Gomez, the favorite to win a second consecutive Eclipse Award as the nation’s top jockey in Miami on Monday night, and Rosario figure to be on his heels all the way.