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The Kentucky Derby and Movie Lists: Jockey Joe Talamo’s Top Ten Movies of All Time

April 15, 2009

Continuing my collection of Top Ten lists from my favorite photographers, writers, musicians, and athletes in the world of rock and racehorses. Check out the Top Ten lists of Barbara Livingston, Bill Finley, Bud Morton, Jonathan Andrew, Kevin Martin, Holly Van Voast, and Jon Forbes.

Jockey Joe Talamo after winning the Wood Memorial aboard I Want Revenge

New York racing fans are a tough bunch. They don’t take kindly to just anybody. They’ve seen it all, from Man o’War to Secretariat. They are stingy with their applause and only reserve it for a select few. After the 2009 Wood Memorial, the New York applause thundered through the small but tough crowd. Joe Talamo and I Want Revenge were officially welcomed to the fold.

Before we go on, take another look at the 2009 Wood Memorial.

Watched it? OK, good. What did you think of Joe Talamo’s ride? I loved it. Balanced riding out of the gate when the colt awkwardly broke, infinite patience waiting to make his move, and a quiet ride to the wire, encouraging his colt but not pushing him any more than needed. Gotta save some of that run for the first Saturday in May.

I Want Revenge and jockey Joe Talamo win the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. Next stop... Churchill Downs!

I’m a racing fanatic, but I’m also a fanatic of excellent riding of any discipline. Check out Talamo’s position at the start of the Wood: eyes up, elastic and giving hands, patient posture.

Left at the Gate: Slow Start in the Wood for I Want Revenge and Joe Talamo

How does a 19-year-old jockey develop these skills? Where did he come from? Who taught him? Was he born a rider? Being a Louisiana native, he cut his teeth on the very same tracks as many of the greatest riders in the sport. Check out the little HRTV clips: Joe Talamo’s Meteoric Rise: Part 1 and Joe Talamo’s Meteoric Rise: Part 2.

I met Joe very briefly at a work function when I was in California shooting the 2008 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. I only spoke with him for a few moments, but I could tell that he was keen to make a good impression with anyone who spoke with him. I can imagine the same keenness when he is hustling mounts at the barns at dawn every morning. Coupled with excellent riding skills, it takes a certain amount of charisma, discipline, and boldness to get a good reputation.

I Want Revenge and Jockey Joe Talamo after winning the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes

Gamblers and horse racing fans alike have known about Smokin’ Joe Talamo since he took California by storm in 2007, winning Grade 1 races at the tender age of 17, becoming the youngest jockey to ride in a Breeders’ Cup race (Monmouth Park 2007 aboard Nashoba’s Key), and winning the Eclipse Award for Best Apprentice Jockey. A larger population got to know Talamo through Animal Planet’s hit series, Jockeys. Talamo’s drive and determination are a large part of the show’s success and the show is currently filming its second season as we count down the days til the Kentucky Derby.

Joe Talamo and I Want Revenge

I Want Revenge and Jockey Joe Talamo win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes

2009 Gotham Stakes winners I Want Revenge and Joe Talamo

I Want Revenge and jockey Joe Talamo win the Grade 1 Wood Memorial

I Want Revenge: 2009 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes Winner

I Want Revenge and Joe Talamo: winners of the 2009 Wood Memorial

Jockey Joe Talamo is interviewed after winning the Wood Memorial with I Want Revenge

What does the jockey of the 2009 Kentucky Derby favorite deem the top ten movies of all time? Check out his list:

1. The Godfather (1972)
2. Goodfellas (1990)
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
4. Seabiscuit (2003)
5. American Gangster (2007)
6. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
7. Cinderella Man (2005)
8. Wedding Crashers (2005)
9. Phone Booth (2002)
10. A Bronx Tale (1993)

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2009 5:34 pm

    Top 10 movies, now?

    Does this mean Mr. Talamo will not be in attendance this summer
    for the Def Leppard / Poison concert at the PNC bank arts center?

    Go Joe ! 😉

    • April 17, 2009 7:37 pm

      The Top Ten list, in any form and for any subject, is an art. One must distill one’s ideas about a certain medium into a dense expression of one’s self. And no, I have a feeling you’ll be at that show without Mr. Talamo :^)

    • April 18, 2009 1:04 am

      PS- who’s your Derby horse?

  2. April 21, 2009 6:38 pm

    You’re asking me who my Derby horse is?
    It’s two weeks before the race!

    Jonathon’s guess is as good as mine.

    Who does HE like? 😀

  3. Mike permalink
    September 18, 2009 12:47 pm

    That’s actually a pretty good top ten list 🙂 Especially #s 1-4.


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