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Mario Gutierrez wins ESPY Award for Best Jockey

ill have another
Mario  Gutierrez, jockey of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner I’ll Have Another, won the award for best jockey during the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

The ESPY Awards, which stand for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards, are presented annually by ESPN for individual and team performances.

Gutierrez, 25 years old, is known as ‘Super Mario.’ He is a native of Mexico who rode regularly in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, before relocating to Southern California. He has announced plans to return to Canada to ride this summer.

In related news, Southern California racing fans had an opportunity to say goodbye to I’ll Have Another between races Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

After the third race was official, the on-track patrons were able to relive the Flower Alley colt’s dramatic victories in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown before the chestnut exited the paddock and made his way to the track.

Owned by J. Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, I’ll Have Another – with Gutierrez, who went 4-for-4 aboard the Kentucky bred, again in the saddle – paraded in front of the grandstand to much applause and was greeted by a number of signs from appreciative fans.

A winner of five of seven starts and earnings of $2,693,600, I’ll Have Another, who earned his first win over Cushion Track in his debut July 3, 2011, was stabled locally throughout his career.

Retired due to tendinitis June 8 – the day before the Belmont Stakes – I’ll Have Another was sold last month to Japanese interests. He will be a stallion in the next phase of his career at owner Shigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm on the island of Hokkaido.

–Hollywood Park Publicity contributed to this report.

I’ll Have Another and Gutierrez/Benoit photo

  • Maribel

    No one could  be more deserving of this award than Mario!! He did a super job and handled all the publicity humbly showing grace and  class under extreme pressure . For once this industry did something right …maybe we are on a roll ?? Let’s hope so …this industry needs more people like Mario …Amen :)