Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jockey Joe Talamo to Represent U.S. in Hong Kong

Southern California rider Joe Talamo will represent the United States in the 12th annual Cathay Pacific International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley on Wednesday, December 9.

Twelve international jockeys will participate in an opening ceremony featuring a spectacular pyrotechnic show that will light up the Happy Valley skyline. The world-class riders will then compete in three legs of racing, with the jockey accumulating the most points winning the championship. Jockeys are assigned their mounts randomly in the three handicap races.

Last year, Douglas Whyte, Hong Kong's leading jockey for the last 9 seasons, won his second consecutive Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Championship and third overall. The South African-born 37-year-old failed to win any of the three legs of the championship, but took home the first prize by finishing second in all three legs.

First leg of the 2008 Cathay Pacific International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley Racecourse. U.S. jockey Cornelio Velasquez closed down the center of the track on Super Genki, wearing down fellow American Garrett Gomez on Classa Suprema, who finished third. Finishing second was Hong Kong based jockey Douglas Whyte on Bobo Win.

Talamo will also ride California Flag for trainer Brian Koriner in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Sprint is one of four international group 1 events at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong. Worth a total of $8 million in purses, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races also include the Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the Hong Kong Mile (1600m), and the Hong Kong Vase (2400m).

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