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Nov 16, 2012 8:03pm
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One win away from thoroughbred history, Mario Gutierrez is riding for his family
in Mexico and his friends in Vancouver. Ryan Tannehill Pink Jersey . And owner J.
Paul Reddam of Windsor, Ont. The 25-year-old Mexican jockey and his mount Ill
Have Another are headed to the 144th Belmont Stakes on June 9, bidding for the
first Triple Crown since 1978 when Affirmed won thoroughbred racings biggest
prize. Its been a wild ride and its not over. But Gutierrez, now based in
California, has not forgotten his roots and the people who helped him along the
way. That includes Vancouvers Hastings Racecourse, which became his home after
he left Mexico in search of racing success. “Because of Vancouver, I was able to
give my family in Mexico a better life,” he told a media conference call
Wednesday. He talks with affection of returning to Vancouver after the Kentucky
Derby win, reconnecting “with my people.” “I have become so close to a few
people in Vancouver that I have always called them my second family. So being
there in Vancouver just makes me feel good.” He says he hears from his Vancouver
circle every day and takes comfort in their support, confidence and happiness at
his success. “Im just very happy that I got to share this with those people—
there in Vancouver and my family back in Mexico. Making those people happy and
making them proud, its a wonderful feeling.” And he credits the small track in
Vancouver for helping him improve as a jockey and teaching him how to operate in
tight spaces at high speed. For Gutierrez, his Triple Crown journey is also a
love affair with his ride. The pride in his voice is evident when he speaks of
Ill Have Another. “He loves racing, you have no idea. Its such a wonderful
feeling when Im on his back. As soon as I ask him, he doesnt hesitate to give me
100 per cent. He likes to fight, he loves to catch people, he loves to be a
winner. Hes a fighter. “Its just an amazing feeling when Im on top of him.” The
jockey talks of his horse as if human. “I know he knows exactly where the wire
is,” he said of the finish line, adding: “He has the biggest heart, ever.” As
the racing world shines its spotlight on Gutierrez, the young jockey is trying
to take everything in stride. He deflects all the praise to his horse and those
who believed enough in him to put him aboard Ill Have Another when others
suggested that the horse was too big for the jockey. “They didnt listen to those
people and they stuck with me,” he said of Reddam and trainer Doug ONeill. “Im
just so thankful for the opportunity … Im just happy I didnt disappoint them.
“Theyre wonderful guys … theyre on my side, they have given me a lot of
confidence,” added Gutierrez, who refers to Reddam as Mr. Reddam. Gutierrez was
riding in Mexico City when he was spotted by Terry Jordan, a Hastings Racecourse
trainer who had gone to the track while on vacation. “I didnt choose Hastings
Park, Hastings Park chose me,” said Gutierrez, who was an apprentice jockey at
the time. Once in Vancouver, some six years ago, he caught the eye of owner Glen
Todd and trainer Troy Taylor, who welcomed the newcomer into their racing and
family circles. “You need these kind of people in your life,” said Gutierrez.
“Im just glad that I found them in my life and I dont want them ever to go away.
“I do love Vancouver. I do think of Vancouver as my second home. Im so happy
theyre proud of me and Im so happy that hey, now people know that British
Columbia has a race track.” Gutierrez recorded hundreds of wins there, before
moving south last year to try his hand at Santa Anita Park in California. Thats
where ONeill and Reddam saw him. Needing a jockey for Ill Have Another, they had
Gutierrez give him a go and put him up for the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes.
Gutierrez thought his agent was joking when he got the call. But it was legit
and he got on the horse about two weeks before the Lewis, at a workout in
Hollywood Park. “I knew he was different than any other horse I had ridden in
the past,” he recalled. “Hes so professional—the way he moves. It was like me
being in a sports car, a very expensive sports car with a lot of gears. And
every time you switched gears to go faster, he will just give it to you. And
thats amazing. Not many horses can do that.” They were a 43-1 longshot for the
Lewis and Gutierrez was an unknown jockey. ONeills instructions were simple. “He
just told me Go there and have fun. Save the best for the end. They won by 2 3/4
lengths. “I knew the horse was good. I just didnt know how good the other horses
were.” Victories have followed in the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and
Preakness. Gutierrez says racing on big tracks is nothing new. He did it in
Mexico City after racing quarter-horses from ages 12 to 17. He chose racing
because he liked it and wanted to better his life. “I used to have nothing. I
wasnt going to go to school because my family didnt have the resources to do
that.” He has made it to the top, but acknowledges others have questioned his
ability to succeed at this level. “People havent really believed in me since
before the Santa Anita Derby. They thought all this was going to be too huge for
me. I cant change the way people think.” He might do just that on June 9,
however, although he is realistic anything can happen on a racetrack. “I know
this is not a TV show, this is horse racing. Everyone is going to be there to
win the race.” This week, he says, he plans to chill out. Hes trying not to put
too much pressure on himself. “Whatever is meant to happen, it will happen,” he
said. There is plenty of time to plan for the Belmont, although he is quick to
say he has no doubts his horse can handle the longer distance of a mile and a
half. “I believe in him 100 per cent. Hes the one who got me to here, where I am
right now,” he said. “Theres still great horse in the races, so its not going to
be an easy race,” he added. Its the first Triple Crown attempt since 2008. And
the 12th since Affirmed outduelled Alydar in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont 34
years ago. Gutierrez is not predicting a win at Belmont. But he says Ill Have
Another is not done yet. “I believe he has something left to show to people,
yes,” he said. Dan Carpenter Womens Jersey .Y. —New York
Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas knows way more about knees than he probably
wants to. Larry Csonka Jersey . He lost to Georges
St-Pierre and Jake (The Juggernaut) Ellenberger. http://www.miamidolphinsfansprostore.com/karlos-dansby-jerseys
. However, there is still a gap on his mantle piece for the biggest prize of
all. “Im not going to shy away from it. Thats the one thing missing on my resume
- I want to win majors,” Donald said. Anthony Fasano Jersey . Armstead is entering
his ninth CFL season and has recorded 13,812 combined yards and 24 touchdowns in
106 games played with Ottawa, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Montreal, Winnipeg and
Edmonton. Ryan Tannehill Youth Jersey . Tracy McGrady
led six players in double figures and the Hawks, with perhaps their most
impressive showing of the season, built a 37-point lead in the first half on the
way to a 116-84 rout of the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. DENVER —Kurt
Busch is ready for yet another new ride. Furniture Row Racing hired Busch on
Monday to drive for the Colorado-based team in 2013. Busch will replace Regan
Smith in the No. 78 Chevrolet. Busch was the 2004 NASCAR champion, but he split
with Penske Racing at the end of last season because of his many off-track
incidents. He spent this season driving for Phoenix Racing in the Sprint Cup
series and his brothers Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, where
he won twice. The 34-year-old Busch has said his goal this season was to prove
he deserved a chance with another top-tier team. With so few seats available,
Furniture Row became the best option. Busch will drive for his third team in
three years when he takes the wheel for Furniture Row. “Though we have made
strides as a resourceful single-car Sprint Cup team, we are not where we want to
be, which led us to the difficult decision of making a driver change as we move
forward,” said Furniture Row Racings general manager Joe Garone. “Kurts
exceptional driving talent has the capacity to take a team to another level. We
look forward to having Kurt join our Denver-based organization and feel his
racing experience will play an important role as we plan ahead to 2013.” Busch
has won 24 Sprint Cup races, as well as the 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
“Furniture Row Racing has the commitment, talent and resources to compete at a
high level in the Sprint Cup Series,” Busch said. “I have watched with
admiration on how this team has grown over the years and that is why I am
excited about the opportunity as I eagerly loook forward to a new chapter in my
racing career. Cameron Wake Womens Jersey. ” Busch is 25th
in the points standings and has only one top-five finish in the Cup series this
season. He served a one-week NASCAR suspension in June after for verbally
abusing a media member. Busch was already on probation from an incident at
Darlington in May—he was also fined $50,000 for reckless driving on pit road
—and NASCAR decided his treatment to the reporter was in violation of his
probation. Busch said he just wanted to have some fun driving the No. 51 for
Phoenix while he rebuilt his image in the hope he could return to a top-tier
organization next season. Busch parted ways with Penske Racing in the offeseason
after six bumpy seasons. Busch was fired in the fallout of yet another
embarrassing incident. A fan caught Busch on video verbally abusing an ESPN
reporter during last months season finale, and Busch was fined $50,000 by NASCAR
after the clip was posted on YouTube. Smith, who is 23rd in the points
standings, has no top-fives and only two top-10 finishes this season. He has
Furniture Rows only Cup race victory, winning in 2011 at Darlington Raceway. “As
our team driver the past four years, Regan has represented Furniture Row Racing
with both class and competitiveness,” Garone said. “He is a friend, and will
always be a friend of Furniture Row Racing. We wish him all the best.” Just not
with Furniture Row. The 34-year-old Busch qualified for the Chase for the Sprint
Cup championship six times in the last nine years and won his lone Cup
championship in only his third full season in the series. ’ ’ ’ 

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