Tanned from a recent trip home to Puerto Rico and relaxed from a summer away from the New York limelight, Norberto Arroyo Jr made his return to Belmont Park a winning one Oct. 16.
Arroyo won the opener at Belmont aboard Prize Rose, who stalked the pace and wore down favorite and pacesetter Onemorefashion.
"I'm very happy to be back," the 27-year old Arroyo said during a break between races. "I went (to Delaware Park) to get away from here for a couple of months."
It was Memorial Day weekend when Arroyo picked up his tack and moved south to Delaware. The move was designed to give Arroyo a break from New York, where his reputation had disintegrated amid run-ins with the law and numerous disqualifications and suspensions for careless riding.
"I'm serious now," Arroyo said. "Before, it was not a full-time thing. Sometimes I was serious. Sometimes I wasn't."
Since winning the title as leading rider in New York in 2000, Arroyo has yet to win another title and has never been the leading rider at any meet. His stated goal this winter is to be the leading rider at Aqueduct.
"I want to be the leading jockey," he said. "I plan to get up every day and work hard. With the help of everyone--with the help of myself--I know I can be successful."