05/30/2012 5:26PM

Hollywood Park: Gutierrez takes week off ahead of Belmont Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Mario Gutierrez has taken a week off from riding ahead of the Belmont Stakes.

Jockey Mario Gutierrez is taking this week off to spend time in Western Canada before traveling to New York to ride Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

Gutierrez rode at Hollywood Park on Monday, but is not booked to ride this week, according to his agent, Ivan Puhich. Gutierrez rode at Hastings Park in Vancouver until last October and has traveled there to visit friends this week, Puhich said.

“He’ll be leaving Canada and he’ll be going straight to New York,” Puhich said Wednesday.

“It’s been overwhelming with interviews. I thought I’d let him clear his mind and get his feet back on the ground. The object is to win the Triple Crown.”

Gutierrez won the final race at Hollywood Park on Monday, but declined to discuss his travel plans this week when approached in the jockeys’ room.

[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]

Gutierrez is scheduled to ride in New York for a week, beginning next Wednesday. Doug O’Neill, who trains I’ll Have Another, said Gutierrez is expected to have “five to 10” mounts next week, in an effort to understand the Belmont Park racetrack, which is 1 1/2 miles in circumference.

“It can give him a little experience,” O’Neill said.

Gutierrez has won 4 of 35 mounts at the current Hollywood Park meeting, missing weekends in May to ride I’ll Have Another to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and to travel to Hastings Park for a day in his honor.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Are they flying Ivan out for the Belmont, or does he prefer to stay at home? Good luck to All.
donnabbrothers More than 1 year ago
Ivan wil be flying to the Belmont Stakes with Mike Pegram.
Charley More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't bet against him not winning the Triple Crown.I think I'll Have Another will romp in the Belmont by 8 lengths.
Clint More than 1 year ago
The kid has a great agent. He is a real driver, but has taken quite a few kids to the top. Listen to him and some o f the older riders that have been young man and you will go far. Good luck in the Belmont. Win or lose, you halve done well.
Scott K More than 1 year ago
Those pristine rides in the Derby and Preakness were as fine as any rider has ever produced - to knock Mario at this point is wholly unwarranted! Best wishes to Mario and the entire IHA contingent - thoroughbred racing can use a Triple Crown winner, and despite the best efforts of NYRA to derail IHA in his quest, here's a toast to IHA garners that ever-elusive May through June 3 yo three-peat!
John Burton More than 1 year ago
Mario, great idea! Get away, relax, and connect with loved ones. Recharge your batteries and feed your soul. Then bring all of that good karma with you to New York. You know what you have to do! History awaits - and GLORY!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Going to Canada for awhile to spend time with the people he considers his adoptive family and who ground him so well is an excellent idea for Mario. It will keep his mind in a good place as he gears up for the Belmont Stakes. Good fortune to you, Mario. Good fortune to I'll Have Another as well. I'm proud of both of you!
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
A recipe for disaster! A Triple Crown winning jockey goes about his business riding every day and show up at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes day like it's just another day. Some many wide-eyed young ones and obscure journeyman type had brought the brought the hoopla's or the jitters with them, and things just fell apart. History is likely to repeat itself, I hope not.
Christopher Dzierwa More than 1 year ago
Only D. Wayne and myself know who will win the 2012 Belmont.
Delrene Sims-Bizzigotti More than 1 year ago
All the best to Mario and his horse, I'll Have Another. I'm just amazed at their abilities to shine under all this intense pressure. They are both so young!!!! Good luck to you and I hope racing gets its Triple Crown. It's sure been a long time....
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Mario sounds like he's succumbing to pressure. I don't like this at all.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
good thing it's the horse that's running . huh
Clint More than 1 year ago
Actually He and his agent are using their heads. Ivan knows what he is doing. I'll bet they didn't ask you what they should do.
Ismael Fdez M More than 1 year ago
suerte a super mario