Mario Gutierrez rides Nyguist to victory during Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Former South Surrey jockey Mario Gutierrez wins Kentucky Derby

Mario Gutierrez becomes first jockey in 118 years to win his first two Kentucky Derby races.

Mario Gutierrez has done it again.

The Mexican-born jockey – who lived in South Surrey while racing at Hastings Park before moving south to Pasadena, Calif. – won his second Kentucky Derby title in as many attempts Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., beating the field aboard the pre-race favourite, Nyquist.

Gutierrez won the 2012 Kentucky Derby aboard I’ll Have Another, but he had not been back to the prestigious race since. With his win Saturday, he became the first jockey in 118 years to win his first two Kentucky Derbies.

“It’s unreal… It’s unbelievable,” Gutierrez said on the NBC broadcast after the race, while also thanking his wife, horse trainer Doug O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam.

O’Neill and Reddam were also trainer and owner, respectively, of I’ll Have Another, which followed the Derby win with victory at The Preakness Stakes, before being scratched from the Belmont Stakes, thus ending the Triple Crown run.

On Saturday, Gutierrez and Nyquist started the race from the No. 13 position, and quickly moved into the lead group with fellow contenders Danzing Candy and Exaggerator.

On the stretch run of the one-and-a-quarter mile race, Gutierrez made a move to the front, and pulled away in the final few hundred yards. Nyquist won by one-and-a-quarter lengths. Exaggerator placed second and Gun Runner ended third.

Gutierrez – whom broadcasters praised as “being as cool as ice” during the race – called Nyquist “an amazing horse” after crossing the finish line. The horse is undefeated in his eight-race career, and will look to extend the streak at the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

South Surrey horse-owner Glen Todd – for whom Gutierrez rode during his time at Hastings Park Racecourse – said his protege “rode a great race” and was lucky enough to have a lightning-quick horse, too.

“You’ve got to have a great horse to win – you can’t win without it,” said Todd, who watched the race from a viewing party at Hastings Park.

“Mario was very, very patient. He waited and waited, and then sprung it. It was a huge crowd (at Hastings Park) and when he took the lead there and pulled away, the place just went nuts.”

Todd said Gutierrez was planning to return to the Lower Mainland this summer, and was set to race for Todd on Canada Day at Hastings Park.

Todd said Gutierrez called him about an hour after his win on Saturday, and was just as excited about it as he was in 2012, when he – a relative unknown – rode I’ll Have Another to victory over favoured horse, Bodemeister.

“Winning never gets old – you never get used to it,” Todd said. “I’m pretty happy for him.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

VIDEO: Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Everett pulls ahead in Western Conference standings over Vancouver Giants

Western Hockey League’s G-Men, who lost 6-5 to Everett Saturday, now prepares to take on Victoria.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Most Read