Joe Talamo


Born: Jan. 12, 1990 in Marrero, Louisiana

Residence: Louisville, Kentucky

Family: Wife Elizabeth, daughter of trainer Ron Ellis; two sons

  • The 2007 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, Talamo successfully shifted his tack from Southern California to Oaklawn in 2020 before joining the Kentucky circuit from the spring through fall. He tied for 2nd in the local jockey standings with 53 wins and amassed more than $3.3 million in earnings. Eight of those wins came in stakes races, including three Graded stakes. He won the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) aboard Whitmore, Azeri (G2) with Serengeti Empress, and the Honeybee (G3) on Shedaresthedevil. He went on to earn the riding title at Ellis Park in Kentucky.
  • Talamo earned his first Breeders’ Cup victory aboard California Flag in the 2009 Turf Sprint (G1). He was second aboard Alluring Star in the 2017 Juvenile Fillies (G1).
  • The Louisiana native joined the Southern California circuit in 2007 as an apprentice after being the first “bug” rider to win the riding title at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds with 119 victories. He quickly established himself and won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top apprentice.
  • He posted his best earnings year in 2012 as his mounts netted more than $11.8 million. That put him at No. 9 among the nation’s riders.
  • In 2020, he had his best year since 2014, when he won 163 races and his mounts made $10.6 million. For the year, he won 134 races and had just over $8 million in earnings.
  • Became the first apprentice to win two Grade 1 races on the same card when Nashoba’s Key won the Vanity and Bilo won the Triple Bend at Hollywood Park July 7, 2007. He calls 7/7/07 his lucky day.
  • On his first day as a journeyman rider – July 22, 2007 – won three races at Del Mar to set a course to be a regular top 10 rider in Southern California.
  • Had to deal with a heart-breaking event at the 2009 Kentucky Derby, coming into the race as the rider of the presumptive favorite, I Want Revenge, only to have the colt scratched on Derby morning because of an injury.
  • Grew up in Marrero, Louisiana, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans and got his early training on the “bush tracks” in the region. Began riding professionally at age 16 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
Photo of Joe Talamo