INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 20, 2012)—One day after he moved a step closer to history, jockey Mario Gutierrez was back at work at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Gutierrez, who delivered another flawless ride aboard I’ll Have Another in Saturday’s Preakness two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby with the son of Flower Alley, failed to score with any of his four mounts Sunday while still savoring his achievement at Pimlico.
A native of Veracruz, Mexico, the 25-year-old rider is looking forward to collaborating again with the Betfair Hollywood Park-based I’ll Have Another in less than three weeks.
A victory in the Belmont Stakes June 9 would make I’ll Have Another, who is trained by Doug O’Neill and owned by CashCall Futurity sponsor J. Paul Reddam, the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
“I got in this morning,’’ he said. “It seems all I do is talk to the press. I keep answering the same questions.
“When I go to Belmont depends on what Mr. O’Neill and Mr. Reddam want me to do. If they want me to go early, I’ll go early.
“I did my homework at home for the Kentucky Derby and I’m going to do the same thing for the Belmont.
“I knew (the Preakness) was a shorter race and (Bodemeister) would be tough, but I had no doubts about my horse. Like I’ve said, I believe in him. He still has a lot more to show.
“I only listen to people that I care about and people that believe in me. Those are the people I look and listen to. Any other comments I just put to the side, good or bad.’’
Gutierrez, who spent more than five years riding at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, added he relished the time he spent there Mother’s Day (May 13). “I really enjoyed it when I went up to Hastings,’’ he said. “It worked out pretty well. That’s a place I feel real comfortable.’’
Gutierrez, who won the Wilshire Handicap earlier in the Spring/Summer meet aboard 15-1 shot Quiet Oasis for Reddam, is named on three mounts Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park and one Friday night.
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