Young jockey starting to turn heads with Oaklawn winners

HOT SPRINGS -- Trainer whose career victories total in five figures and a jockey who after Friday needs more than one hand to count his wins formed major storylines at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.

Joshua Bealmear, 19, is on the Oaklawn scoreboard six weeks after scoring his first career riding victory at the track. Victories for trainers Michael Hewitt and Chris Hartman on Friday gave Bealmear six career winners. Hewitt-trained Mahomey paid $33.60 in the sixth and Notorious Sixohtwo $14.40 in the eighth for Hartman. Bealmear made his career debut Nov. 30 at Turfway Park in his native Kentucky.

Five victories is an important number for apprentice riders in that they must pick up weight after previously getting 10 pounds off. Bealmear will now ride with a 7-pound allowance, which he had in his second win Friday, until his career total reaches 35. If he gets to 40 a year before Dec. 30, the jockey gets 5 pounds off until that date.

"First allowance win, a big allowance win," said Bealmear, who pumped his right arm after crossing the finish line on Mahomey in the $143,000 event for older Arkansas-bred sprinters. "Sometimes emotions get the better of me. I've just got to let them out.

"The afternoon started off a little slow. Started getting to me a little bit. Then it started picking up for me.

Bealmear, whose father Ben also won Oaklawn races as a jockey, scored his first victory aboard We Miss Arlington on Dec. 30 for trainer James DiVito. Hartman gave him the call on Jan. 12 winner January Jubilee and Tommy Vance likewise with Magnolia Mae on Jan. 27.

"His father is a veterinarian from Kentucky," Hartman said of Bealmear. "He used to do work at a swimming pool that we used to keep horses at. I really didn't know the kid. Knew of him. I just met the kid in Kentucky and he said he wanted to be a rider. I like the idea of the pounds off. He listens well, though. That's one thing. That kid's a good listener."

Said the rider: "I try to keep them [trainers] happy with me. Keep them confident in my abilities."

Two-time Oaklawn champion Robby Albarado, who retired with more than 5,000 career winners, books Bealmear's mounts.

Oaklawn leading rider Cristian Torres has 29 winners, 11 more than Emmanuel Esquivel, after a riding double for Ronnie Cravens III on Accelerating Babe ($18.40) in the second and Full Authority ($2.80) in the third for Greg Compton on Friday.

Three wins for Asmussen boosted the Hall of Famer's lead in the trainer standings, which he has topped 12 times locally. Friday's milestone extended his local record for career training victories to 900.

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