More than 13 years after he collected the first win of his career in his native Louisiana, jockey Joe Talamo picked up his 2,000th victory with Rizzi’s Honors in Thursday’s fifth race at Los Alamitos.
The 3-5 favorite against five opponents in the $20,351 starter allowance, the 6-year-old With Distinction mare pressed the issue while wide early, but kicked clear inside the final eighth to win by four lengths for owners Lee Drummond and Joe Riso and trainer Mark Glatt.
Talamo, who will turn 30 Jan. 12, was joined in the winner’s circle by his wife Elizabeth and his two young sons Dominic and Vincent, longtime agent Scotty McClellan and several of his fellow riders.
“She’s such a neat mare, she always tries hard,’’ said Talamo. “I felt pretty confident down the lane she was going to win.
“Besides (Glatt), there are so many owners and trainers to thank that gave me the opportunities that led to this milestone. I’m so grateful.
“Scotty and I have been together for about 13 years so it was pretty special to have him here today. It’s hard to believe I’ve been riding this long.’’
Talamo, who is going to ride in California through Jan. 5 before he begins competing at Oaklawn Park, which starts its meet Jan. 24, earned his initial victory July 7, 2006 aboard Well Heavens Sake at Louisiana Downs. His 1,000th win came April 5, 2012 at Santa Anita aboard Splendid Fortune for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.