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

Surrey mayor says the RCMP has announced it will unionize

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Surrey man wanted on Canada-wide warrant for drug trafficking turns himself in

Police had issued a public appeal for information in mid-June

Surrey brewpub’s 20th-year ‘Cask Off’ championship belt won by its head brewer

‘Jason’s Mimosa’ among crafty creations at annual competition

VIDEO: Surrey man charged after dangerous driving incident in Vancouver

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Surrey RCMP provide summer safety tips as school lets out

Police say they will continue to ‘proactively engage’ with youth in a number of programs this summer

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Man arrested for alleged indecent act after ‘predatory’ SkyTrain incident

A woman had reported the man had exposed himself while on the train on April 29

Most Read