Jockey Juan Gutierrez Becomes All-Time Leading Rider At Emerald Downs

Juan Gutierrez made riding history Wednesday afternoon at Emerald Downs, supplanting Gallyn Mitchell as the track’s all-time leading rider.

With a 1¼-length victory on Stay in Grace in the featured $17,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse, Gutierrez moved one ahead of Mitchell—1,420 to 1,419—to become No. 1 all-time at Emerald Downs. He had tied Mitchell’s mark with a victory aboard Mike Operator earlier on the card.

“You know, I was excited the last eighth of a mile when I was pretty sure we would get there,” Gutierrez said in the winner’s circle after the victory on Stay in Grace. “This is a great record because it has taken a long time to get there.”

Gutierrez, 51, notched his first Emerald Downs’ win April 29, 2000 and has been a mainstay here ever since. He recorded 15 consecutive top-five finishes in the riders’ standings during one stretch, including a riding title in 2012 with 117 wins. He also ranks No. 1 in track earnings with over $15 million and No. 3 in stakes victories with 68, including three wins in the Longacres Mile. He ranks second at the current meet with 47 victories through Wednesday.

A 2018 inductee into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame, Gutierrez has 2,031 overall wins, hitting the 2,000 mark aboard Semi Sweet in July.

Gutierrez will be honored with a winner’s circle ceremony before Thursday’s first race.

Mitchell, the leading rider at Emerald Downs since 2002, retired four years ago and now resides in southern California.

Stay in Grace, a 5-year-old Oregon-bred mare by Understatement, has three wins in her last four starts and improved to 10 for 22 lifetime with earnings of $78,347. Rigoberto Velasquez is the trainer for owners Jerry Carmody and John Sneesby.

In Wednesday’s victory, Stay in Grace ($3.20) gained command into the turn and held off B C Z Middleton in the drive, running six furlongs in 1:09.79

The post Jockey Juan Gutierrez Becomes All-Time Leading Rider At Emerald Downs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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