Photo: Jockey Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another Win Preakness
In less then a month we will know if ‘I’ll Have Another’ and Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez will ride into horse racing history. Yesterday ‘I’ll Have Another’ won the 137th Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby last month.
The third and final race of the Triple Crown is the Belmont race held in New York which is the longest race at 1.5 miles.
If ‘I’ll Have Another’ rides to victory with jockey Mario Gutierrez it will be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978 when Affirmed won it. It will then join the company of the greatest horses that include Secretariat and Seattle Slew.
Once again the ever modest Gutierrez told ESPN, “It’s not me, it’s him. It’s all about the horse.”
Gutierrez, 25, from Vera Cruz, Mexico was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby on his first try since 2004. He was discovered by owner J. Paul Reddam after winning 91 races as a novice in Canada and has been jockeying since age 14 starting out in Mexico City.
Gutierrez is now a local hero in Vancouver where he belongs to Canada’s Reddam Racing group. Fans follow him everywhere and there are ‘Go Mario Go’ t-shirts and buttons.
If Gutierrez rides ‘I’ll Have Another’ into the history books at Belmont on June 9th, he will have risen from relative obscurity to becoming a legend here and in Mexico, in less than one year.