Joel Rosario

Joel Rosario

Benoit Photography

West Coast Rider Rosario to Move to NY

Top West Coast-based rider Joel Rosario will relocate to New York.

Top West Coast-based rider Joel Rosario will relocate to New York, according to his agent Ronnie Ebanks.

"We had been contemplating the move with the influx of all the money and the purses going up dramatically (in New York) and so many of the top horses around the country migrating there," explained Ebanks. "We thought we'd wait another year...we were considering next spring, depending on what was happening in California."

Ebanks and Rosario decided to push up the move when they received news June 17 that New York-based prominent jockey John Velazquez had broken his right collarbone and would be sidelined for two months. Rosario, 24, will begin riding on the New York circuit June 27.

Velazquez's absence "leaves a lot of business open," said Ebanks. "He was the second leading rider in the nation and he's going to be out of action for a while."

Rosario was the leading rider by winners the last three summers at Del Mar. He also won this year's Santa Anita Park meeting and currently ranks third in the Betfair Hollywood Park rankings.

While Rosario experienced considerable success on the West Coast, Ebanks is hopeful things will be even better in New York.

"Business in California is segregated," said Ebanks. "(Trainer) Bob Baffert has a stable of the best horses out here and we haven't been riding for him for the last six months, which makes it tough in the bigger races. We don't have a very good lineup of stakes horses right now, so it was the perfect timing for this opportunity."