Thursday, September 06, 2012

Bejarano, Miller Win Jockey, Trainer Titles

At mid-season, pursuit of the 2012 riding championship was a three-way battle among Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez and Joe Talamo.

A short time later, with a burst of victories, Bejarano was alone and in control atop the standings en route to his second Del Mar title and first since 2008.

The 30-year-old Peruvian finished the 37-day season with 52 victories, nine more than runner-up Joe Talamo who was four in front of Garrett Gomez.

Additionally, Bejarano won 13 stakes, bettering the record of 12 shared by Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris McCarron, Gary Stevens and Corey Nakatani. Talamo, second to Joel Rosario for most wins last summer, also had a successful season and won his 12th stakes of the season when he rode Dry Summer to victory in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Wednesday.

The race for leading trainer came down to the final day of the meeting, Wednesday. With three winners on closing day, Peter Miller captured his first Del Mar conditioning championship, edging out Bob Baffert, 21-20. Doug O’Neill, suspended since August 19, was third with 18 victories, three ahead of John Sadler.

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