The Del Mar jockey colony will add a Hall of Fame rider Labor Day weekend when Alex Solis returns home to the West Coast after nearly five years based in the east.
Solis, who became the 98th jockey inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this month, has 4,992 career wins from 33,600 starts. His mounts have accumulated purse earnings of $235,699,608.
He was named on two mounts for the Saturday, Aug. 30 card at Del Mar. He is to ride Z Z Thunder in the second race for trainer David Hofmans in a maiden special weight event , and Perfect Set in the seventh for trainer George Papaprodromou, a starter allowance.
Solis, 50, is at Del Mar but was still in the process of relocation the morning of Aug. 27, new agent Brandon O'Bryan said. Solis was at Del Mar Aug. 24 for the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) and was in the winner's circle after Shared Belief—part-owned by his bloodstock agent son Alex Jr.—won the $1 million event.
O'Bryan said the connection with Solis was initiated by a phone call from East Coast super agent Ron Anderson, who informed him that Solis desired to return to Southern California. Anderson is the agent for Joel Rosario.
"I gave Alex a call and we ended up meeting about a week later for lunch," O'Bryan said. "This is home, where his family and his kids are, and I think that's the main reason he wanted to come back and ride here."
Solis is expected to be at the track Aug. 28 or 29 to work horses.
O'Bryan, a third-generation jockey agent, has had Danny Sorenson, Alonso Quinonez, David Flores, and Kerwin John among past clients, and started the meeting representing Saul Arias. He will now exclusively represent Solis.
Retired trainer Mel Stute, who gave Solis a major break putting him on Snow Chief for the 1986 Triple Crown campaign that produced a victory in the Preakness (gr. I), remains a big Solis supporter.
"Alex, in my opinion, is going to do real well here, same as Desormeaux has," Stute said in reference to Kent Desormeaux, riding once again on the Southern California circuit after several years away.
"I told Kent when he came back, 'They talk about the jocks we have here now but don't you worry. You old timers will give them all a lesson.' Mike Smith and Kent are doing really well here and so will Alex," Stute said. "He has the right style and he thinks when he rides."
Solis joins Smith and Desormeaux as the Hall of Fame members in the Del Mar jockey colony. Gary Stevens underwent knee replacement surgery this summer but has expressed intentions of making a comeback.