07/08/2012 5:11PM

Hollywood Park: Gutierrez plans to ride at Hastings this summer

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Jockey Mario Gutierrez rides Quiet Oasis to victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes.

Jockey Mario Gutierrez, who rose to national prominence after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another, said Sunday that he plans to ride sparingly, if at all, during Del Mar.

Gutierrez said he will ride at Hastings Park, with occasional trips to Emerald Downs.

Gutierrez expressed frustration at his lower number of mounts in recent weeks. He traveled on the weeks of the Triple Crown, but has been based at Hollywood Park in the last month.

“I only ride a couple of horses every day,” he said before the races Sunday.

Through Sunday, Gutierrez had won six races from 70 mounts at the current meeting, which began on April 26. By comparison, leading rider Rafael Bejarano had won 70 races from 231 mounts.

Gutierrez said he could ride stakes at Del Mar, if asked. Of his six wins at the current spring-summer meeting, two have been stakes on Quiet Oasis – the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap in April and the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes on Saturday.
Quiet Oasis is owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam who raced the now-retired I’ll Have Another. Doug O’Neill, who trained I’ll Have Another, said he wants Gutierrez at Del Mar.

“Paul and I are going to strongly urge Mario to stay,” O’Neill said on Sunday evening.

According to Hastings-based owner Glenn Todd, for whom Gutierrez rode first call at Hastings, Gutierrez has several stakes mounts lined up at Northlands Park, Hastings, and Emerald Downs this summer. He is scheduled to ride Regal Betty for trainer John Sadler in the $50,000 Kent Handicap for 3-year-old fillies at Emerald Downs Sunday; Commander Todd in the $50,000 Spangled Jimmy at Northlands July 21; St Liams Halo in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap July 22 at Emerald; and either St Liams Halo or Taylor Said in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Aug. 19. Gutierrez also will ride at Hastings on B.C. Cup Day, Aug. 6.

A native of Mexico, Gutierrez, 25, began riding in Southern California last fall, having become one of the leading riders at Hastings Park in recent years. He said he may follow a similar schedule this year.

“I’ll be back, hopefully, for September for the Santa Anita meeting,” he said.
– additional reporting by Randy Goulding