By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, LOUISVILLE, KY, Sun. May 8, 2016: Mexican immigrant jockey Mario Gutierrez created history at the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday afternoon, by claiming his second win in four years.
Gutierrez rode Nyquist, who he has been riding since the horse was two years old, to the historic win as the horse won by 1¼ lengths in 2:01.31 and held off a hard-charging Exaggerator at the wire. The 3-year-old colt became the eighth unbeaten winner in the race’s 142-year history and the first since Big Brown in 2008.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Gutierrez told NBC after the win. “I came here really 100 percent prepared.”
Gutierrez was born Veracruz, Mexico and began riding at age 14. . In 2006 he emigrated to Canada where he began riding at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He won his first Derby in 2012 on aboard I’ll Have Another, a colt owned by Windsor, Ontario, native J. Paul Reddam and his wife Zillah.
Gutierrez, however, has experienced the highs and lows of the sport. After reaching the pinnacle of success in 2012, his career began a downward turn. According to the Toronto Sun, he experienced self doubt and was puzzled on how to rebound.
He decided to try seeing a sports psychologist. After his first session, he booked ten more. He changed his diet and began intensifying his physical training. The changes came just in time as he was introduced to Nyquist.
Gutierrez, 28, has credited his wife Rebecca for his success on the track. “I give a lot of credit to my wife for my success the past two years . . . because of her I’ve invested more in myself now,” he told The Globe and Mail recently.
Nyquist is also owned by the Reddam stables.
Now Nyquist and Gutierrez are the ones to beat with the Preakness Stakes up next on May 21st.