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Friday, March 25, 2011
Gomez hires Tony Matos as agent

By Claire Novak
BloodHorse.com



Jockey Garrett Gomez has hired veteran agent Tony Matos to manage his book, Gomez said March 24. The decision came two days after the jockey, a two-time Eclipse Award winner, parted ways with Ron Anderson, who had organized his mounts for the past five years and who will now represent Alan Garcia.

"Tony's a very good agent, on top of all his business, and he knows everything you might want to know about any horse in pretty much any stakes race in the country," Gomez said. "Hopefully we'll have the opportunity to really get on the ball and start moving forward quickly."

Gomez ranks sixth in national purse earnings in 2011 with $1,985,092. He has compiled a record of 31-31-23 from 174 starts.

His best year in terms of purse earnings was 2008 when he totaled $23,344,351. He topped $20 million in prize money for three consecutive years, 2006-08.Since beginning his career in 1988, Gomez has won 3,457 races from 19,935 mounts, earning $178,314,924.

Matos, 66, is also the agent for Victor Espinoza, whose book he will continue to manage. He had been representing Christian Santiago-Reyes as well, but said he will help that rider find a new agent since most racing jurisdictions only allow agents to represent two jockeys at one time.

The agent will travel to Keeneland next week and will represent Gomez, who will ride the full spring meeting at the Lexington oval before returning to California after the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

"We'll be based in California but I'll ship wherever they want me to ship for stakes competition, trust me," Gomez said. "Wherever the good horses are, I'll be on those airplanes."

Matos has been the representative of many well-known riders including Angel Cordero Jr., Laffit Pincay Jr., Kent Desormeaux, Gary Stevens, Corey Nakatani, Patrick Valenzuela, Rene Douglas, and Chris Antley. He has booked winning mounts for his jockeys six times in the Kentucky Derby (Cannonade, Bold Forbes, Swale, Real Quiet, Fusaichi Pegasus, and War Emblem), three times in the Preakness Stakes (Codex, Real Quiet, and War Emblem), and has six Belmont Stakes winners (Bold Forbes, Conquistador Cielo, Caveat, Swale, Editor's Note, and Point Given) as well as several Breeders' Cup winners.

"I was very happy Garrett called me and I've always thought he was a great rider," the agent said. "We've both had great careers and I look forward to continuing that success together."