Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, Jr. and top Southern California-based trainer Richard Baltas were the guests on this week’s “Riders Up!” with Frank Lyons and John Gaver. If you missed the broadcast on Sunday, July 23, you can catch the replay HERE.
Cordero, Jr., a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, is the son of a jockey and trainer and one of the greatest North American Thoroughbred race riders of all time. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, annexed four Breeder’s Cup races, and has earned three Eclipse Awards as outstanding jockey in North America. He is known as the “King of Saratoga” by virtue of his 14 riding titles–11 consecutively–at the upstate New York racetrack. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1988.
Cordero, Jr., currently an agent for jockeys John Velazquez and Manuel Franco, checked in from Saratoga Springs, NY and reflected on his career, his riders, and the special significance of the saddle that Always Dreaming carried to victory in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Baltas, an Indiana native who grew up in Huntington Beach, California, has approximately 100 horses in training in Southern California and has conditioned grade one winners Big Macher and Spanish Queen in addition to the graded stakes winner Forever Darling. He cut his teeth in the Thoroughbred business at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and has worked for top trainers such as Richard Mandella, Craig Dollase, and Barry Abrams.
Via telephone from Del Mar, California, Baltas discussed his time spent at Spendthrift and gave us some background on his filly Madam Dancealot (Ire), who would go on to win the San Clemente Handicap at odds of 21-1.
“Riders Up!” with Frank Lyons and John Gaver airs Sunday mornings from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M. Eastern and is available for live streaming on the ESPN Sports Radio 1300 app (for iOS or Android) or by visiting the WLXG ESPN Sports Radio 1300 website.
Frank and I hope to give you fresh insights and perspectives into the many colorful personalities that make up the world of Thoroughbred horse racing. Check us out on Sunday mornings from 7:00 to 8:00 A.M. in Lexington, Kentucky on 1300 AM, WLXG ESPN Sports Radio, or worldwide by visiting the WLXG ESPN Sports Radio 1300 website.
Header image: “Fair High,” oil on board by Vaughn Flannery (American, 1898 – 1955)