Norberto Arroyo Shifting to Hollywood Park

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. will shift his tack to California for the first time and begin riding at Hollywood Park June 14, according to his new agent, Jim Pegram.

Pegram, who handled the book of Garrett Gomez when he was the leading rider at the Hollywood spring/summer meet last year, went to New York at the end of the Santa Anita meet with jockey Kent Desormeaux and is returning with Arroyo.

"He grew up in Boston but always wanted to try California, and the opportunity with me became available," explained Pegram by phone from New York on Friday. "I will be back on Saturday, and the jock will get here Monday."

Arroyo, 29, was the leading rider in New York as an apprentice with 188 wins in 2000 and finished second to Tyler Baze for the Eclipse Award as leading apprentice that year. He has earned more than $30 million in purses since he began riding in 1999.

Born in Puerto Rico, Arroyo moved to the Boston area with his family at 11 and played baseball and basketball in high school. His father was a sparring partner for boxing champion Roberto Duran.

Arroyo won more than 20 stakes in New York.