05/23/2016 7:25AM

Gutierrez looking ahead to Belmont, not back to Preakness

Benoit & Associates
Mario Gutierrez wins the Californian Stakes on Sunday aboard Second Summer.

ARCADIA, Calif. - A day after Nyquist finished third in the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, jockey Mario Gutierrez won the feature race at Santa Anita – the $200,345 Californian Stakes with Second Summer.

The victory was his first mount since the Preakness and was a welcome distraction.

Earlier in the day, Gutierrez had posted a message on Instagram, thanking the team behind Nyquist – owners Paul and Zillah Reddam and Doug O’Neill – and his fans for their support, offering congratulations to race winner Exaggerator, and stating that he was looking forward to an expected rematch in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

The Grade 2 Californian Stakes was Gutierrez’s sixth stakes win of the year and first for owners and a trainer other than Paul and Zillah Reddam and Doug O’Neill, the people behind Nyquist. Second Summer races for Sharon Alesia, Ciaglia Racing, Marc Ferrell and Slam Dunk Racing, and is trained by Peter Eurton.

After Second Summer’s win, Gutierrez echoed some of the thoughts he wrote on Instagram.

“I feel good,” he said on television in the winner’s circle. “We had a sad day yesterday. We’ll come back, and we have a talented horse.”

A few minutes later, while walking from the jockeys' room to the paddock for the day’s final race, Gutierrez said he was looking forward to the Belmont.

Gutierrez came under criticism in some quarters for his ride on Nyquist in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness. He urged Nyquist to the front through a quick pace of 22.38 for the opening quarter-mile and 46.56 seconds for a half-mile. The pace took its toll when Nyquist faded in the stretch to finish 3 1/2 lengths behind Exaggerator.

Asked if he second-guessed his race tactics on Nyquist, Gutierrez was quick to say no and turn the conversation toward his win on Second Summer.

“You didn’t see me second guess myself in this race,” he said. “I’m legit.”

Gutierrez walked away smiling.


Joseph More than 1 year ago
Nyquist will win the Belmont ! Taylored made with a sifter pace .
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
 Doug O'Neill told Mario to go to the front and let the others catch him.  They did.  
Tom Fleming More than 1 year ago
Horrible decision by Gutierrez to go head and head with Uncle Lino and set ridiculous fractions for a 1 3/16ths  mile race. Nyquists' pedigree says he should be most effective going up to a mile and  1/16th(we all know he has won @ 1 1/4 miles), and with most of the 3 yo's maturing at this time of year(yes, Nyquist matured earlier than most of his 3yo brethren), Nyquist may find it more difficult to compete at the top level of competition with this crop of 3yo's later in the year. Yes, he is a talented horse who still is the king of this division, however, the waters may be getting a bit deeper down the line.
Robert OBrien More than 1 year ago
Nyquest does no have the stamina for 1.5 miles in the heavy sand at Belmont, compared to finishing horses like Exaggerator as proven in the Kentucky Derby where he would have been caught if the race had been over 1.25 miles. He is a great horse and should be saved for the Classic where he could be strong at 1.25 miles. It was obvious in the Preakness that it was a mistake to run him so fast so early in the slop. The race reminds one of AP at Saratoga last year where, AP was also run out too fast!
Andrew Connie More than 1 year ago
ahahaha like Corey Lanerie gave such a great ride....
Jim Pitura More than 1 year ago
How many classics have you boys won?
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
jim,this is an opinion thread that consists of mostly hardened gamblers who are passionate and knowledgeable of our sport, and when a jockey makes a terrible decision it is easy to see,no need to have won any classics to make that judgement, and i wouldn't be surprised if the oneill team ,behind the scenes are infuriated that a second rate jock cost them a chance of a triple crown and mario might get bumped
Jonathan Epstein More than 1 year ago
Putting aside the bad ride it looks to me like Nyquist could use a long rest. The campaign seems to have taken its toll. What happens if the Belmont comes up sloppy? He will never make the mile and a half fighting the bit.
If Cherry Wine enters the Belmont, He is my horse to beat.
Frank More than 1 year ago
I think he was already looking ahead to Belmont last saturday when he was racing in the preakness.  Bad ride -- 

When you have a top class horse you should always use a top class rider -- 
RaceTote More than 1 year ago
 In New York, both Nyquist and Exaggerator will face their toughest competition. Expect a full field, comprised primarily of fresh animals determined to best all, leaving a permanent mark on the history books. 
 The mile and one half distance over a sandy surface makes the Belmont Stakes the greatest challenge any three year old colt might face.
 It is indubitably a brutal two and one half minute competition absent mercy for the slightest rider miscalculation. Only the most talented and fortuitous arrive in the winner's circle. No matter which of this year's wonderful crop is victorious, the event is certain to raise the pulse of anyone courageous enough to place a significant wager at the window,leaving their fate to the talent, wisdom and good fortune of these magnificent horses and brilliant riders. God bless them all.
Russ Jenkins More than 1 year ago
Like D'Tara, Sarava, and Jazil? :)

Russ Jenkins More than 1 year ago
I'm responding to the "only the most talented and fortuitous arrive in the winner's circle" (of the Belmont Stakes).  Seems to me that the Belmont has more fluke winners, or more simply put, bad horse winners, in recent history than the other 2 legs.
RaceTote More than 1 year ago
Exaggerator is a wonderful animal, and during the Preakness Stakes beat the better horse. Hats off to his rider, 
 In two weeks, the Belmont Stakes. 
 If team Nyquist comes to terms with their colts limitations, makes an effort to save ground, and leaves a little in the tank before turning for home, their talented animal may still prove himself the best  three year old colt in America. 
Jonathan Epstein More than 1 year ago
3 weeks not 2 to the Belmont