Joel Rosario, the nations sixth leading rider by earnings, is leaving southern California in favor of the New York circuit.
Represented by agent Ronnie Ebanks, the Dominican jockey has won riding titles at Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park and Del Mar.
Rosario faced some of the toughest names in racing while winning those titles. The competition is a lateral move from California to New York, but two key factors are motivating the shift.
- Money rules everything in just about all aspects of life. Purses are on the rise in New York and California hasn’t shown the ability to keep up. Hollywood Park will contest an allowance race worth $55k on Thursday while a comparable allowance race at Belmont Park that same day will go for $72k. Total purses for the day are $279k at Hollywood compared to $477k for Belmont. California might have sunshine and babes, but cold hard cash rules everything.
- The quality of racehorses in New York is far exceeding that of the horses in California. While guys like Bob Baffert will always introduce world class thoroughbreds to California, the chance to ride for bigger barns like those of Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown, Kiaran McLaughlin and many more is an appealing prospect. Ebanks is a hustler and will do everything in his power to get mounts for Rosario. It’s not like he will be building from scratch though. It’s no secret that Rosario can go toe to toe with the best in the world.
Rosario isn’t the first rider to move from one coast to the other and he certainly wont be the last to head for greener pastures in New York. Previously a Kentucky rider, Julien Leparoux has also chosen to spend his days in The Empire State. Throw in the likes of Ramon Dominguez, JJ Castellano and John Velazquez already riding there and the jockey colony at New York is now undeniably the best in America.