Details: It seems like everybody in the country's playing ping pong these days. It's a big craze. I know that ping pong tables have been a fixture in the jockey room for a long time. Are you good at that sport?
Joe Talamo: I'm absolutely horrible.

Details: You are?
Joe Talamo: I'm big on pool. And I love golf. It's really challenging.

Details: I'd like to talk a little bit about your better half, Sidney's Candy. What's he like off the track? Does he have a special character to him?
Joe Talamo: A little bit. He handles himself well, you know. For a 3-year-old horse, he acts like he's 4 or 5. He's so fun to ride, he makes the job real easy. That's why I love him.

Details: How much time do you spend with him?
Joe Talamo: I really try not to go over to the barn too much. 'Cause his groomer takes care of him, and obviously trainer John Sadler does, too. I don't like to interfere too much.

Talamo in action

Details: People are making a big deal out of the fact that you drew the Number 20 post in the starting gate. Is that something that concerns you? Are they making too much of it?
Joe Talamo: For Sidney's Candy, I think it's a good thing 'cause he's all the way outside, he's the last horse to load. Big Brown won from that post a couple years ago, so I can't see it being a problem.

Details: Word has it that you're a Sinatra fan. Is that right?
Joe Talamo: Oh, yeah.

Details: How'd you come to that?
Joe Talamo: I don't know. I always did kind of like oldies. My parents and all, they always did listen to him, so I took a liking to him.

Details: You know, they play "New York, New York" every year at the Belmont, the last race in the Triple Crown. Have you allowed yourself to go there yet, to fantasize about sweeping all three races?
Joe Talamo: Oh, for sure. If I get to ride in the Belmont, I'll be singing along with him.

The Kentucky Derby airs 4-7pm ET on May 1, 2010 on NBC.

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