Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. is not invading new territory at Santa Anita this meet. Call it a homecoming of sorts.
Sterling has a rich family history going for him in Southern California. His father, Larry Sr., trained the popular Vigors, winner of the 1978 Santa Anita Handicap, among other important stakes races.
The younger Sterling has been a successful riding fixture in the Midwest for years but has decided to try his hand at Santa Anita for the next two months, until Sportsmans Park begins its meet on Feb. 25.
"I grew up in Southern Californian and my dad trained here for 20 years," said the 34-year-old Sterling, who has a home in San Dimas. Craig O'Bryan is handling his book.
"I'm just looking to winterize while I'm out here," Sterling said. "I'll probably stay here into February and return to the Midwest in March."
Sterling said he is unconcerned about the stiff competition he'll encounter at Santa Anita.
"It's about the same wherever you go," Sterling said, "just different horses, different people and a different atmosphere."