When jockey Richard Migliore recently suffered a broken leg, trainer James Jerkens didn't take long to decide on naming Garrett Gomez to ride Artie Schiller in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
"Every time I looked at a chart, he was always winning," Jerkens said. "He looks like he's in terrific form, and that's what we need."Gomez, who won the 2005 spring/summer riding title at Hollywood Park, is the runaway leader during the current Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.
Artie Schiller was favored for last year's Mile at Lone Star Park, only to suffer an extremely troubled trip and finish 12th. Jerkens expects his 4-year-old colt to be 5-1 or 6-1 in a "little deeper" Mile this year.
"I probably feel more confident this year, because we're in our own backyard here. So are a lot of people, but it makes it easier," Jerkens said.
Artie Schiller stood in the gate before galloping once around the Belmont training track on Monday morning and is scheduled to breeze on Thursday or Friday.
Gomez has a full day lined up Saturday in his comeback season from substance abuse. He's also the regular rider of Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Borrego (Classic), Vosburgh (gr. I) upsetter Taste of Paradise (Sprint) and Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) hero Stevie Wonderboy (Juvenile), and guided Healthy Addiction (Distaff) to victory in her last start, the Lady's Secret (gr. II) . He's also been named to ride Flip Flop for the first time in the Filly & Mare Turf.