by Ed Golden |
Agent Vince DeGregory, unceremoniously dumped by up-and-coming rider Joel Rosario just before Thanksgiving, has agreed to represent veteran jockey Corey Nakatani (pictured at right), provided the 10-time riding champion “let’s his riding talk for him.”
The 76-year-old DeGregory is a firm taskmaster who has represented Hall of Fame riders Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, Jorge Velasquez, Jacinto Vasquez and Darrel McHargue during a career spanning more than five decades.
DeGregory took the 23-year-old Rosario under his wing two years ago after the native of Santo Domingo moved to Southern California from the Bay Area, where he was represented by Vic Stauffer, who also is Hollywood Park’s track announcer. Rosario reunited with Stauffer after giving the pink slip to DeGregory.
The 38-year-old Nakatani, about to resume riding at Hollywood as the meet nears its end on Dec. 21, has been sidelined with a broken right collar bone since Sept. 24. Nakatani numbers seven Breeders’ Cup victories among his more than 3,200 career wins over 20 years.
Nakatani’s talent has rarely been questioned, but occasional tactless verbal outbursts have soured critics. Still he remains extremely popular among bettors, who will often wager on a race if they see Nakatani aboard a horse in the field.
As for DeGregory, he hopes that all the controversy is in the past.