Reylu Gutierrez Celebrates ‘Emotional’ First Graded Stakes Win

Reylu Gutierrez experienced the ups and downs of racing on Saturday’s Gotham Day card at Aqueduct while plying his trade for the final time as an apprentice.

The 23-year-old rider, whose father, Luis, is a trainer at Finger Lakes, had eight mounts on the card including the call on Do Share in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap and Not That Brady in the Gotham.

Gutierrez utilized a wide, sweeping move aboard Do Share to rally from sixth to first and earn his first graded stakes win in the Tom Fool. The strategy came, in part, to the jockey’s smart assessment early on in the card that the outside path may be the best route to victory.

“I rode a horse for Gregory DiPrima named Karabessa and had a great trip. The rail opened up and I had plenty of room to slip up the fence, but my horse just didn’t fire through. Either my horse didn’t have the courage, or it was getting a little deeper,” said Gutierrez. “That changed my view and after following a few more races I saw horses coming from the three and four path winning instead. I had to make an adjustment to make that outside run.”

Gutierrez was stepping aboard Do Share, trained by Mike Maker for Three Diamonds Farm, for the first time in the Tom Fool and the rider said he studied a number of replays to be ready for the opportunity.

“It’s up to you to be prepared, watch replays and communicate with the assistants and the grooms who work with the horses every day. ‘Team Maker’ always has their horses prepared so I was very confident,” said Gutierrez.

Skyler’s Scramjet led the seven-horse Tom Fool field through a blistering opening quarter-mile in 21.92 seconds and the half in 44.83 on the fast main track as Gutierrez waited patiently near the back of the pack.

“Riding here in New York you develop a clock and I knew they were hustling. I was on a very good horse and for them to get that far away from me early in the race, I knew they were whistling,” said Gutierrez. “My horse was a closer and I didn’t want to be inside. After watching his replays, I wanted to have a clear run at everybody.

“When I tapped my horse on the shoulder the first time and he made a little burst, I knew I had plenty in the tank,” continued Gutierrez. “So, let me just wait a little longer and make a sweeping move.”

When Gutierrez asked again, Do Share responded with a furious kick, opening up by a length at the top of the lane en route to a 6 1/2-length romp.

Gutierrez said it was an emotional victory with his parents in town to watch him ride.

“I don’t know if my mom was prouder of me getting my college degree or winning my first graded stakes,” said Gutierrez. “I hope it’s the first one, but I love winning for her because she gets so emotional.”

Two races later, Gutierrez left the gate aboard Not That Brady with great expectations, but the stakes-winning chestnut failed to fire and finished last of eight.

“’Brady’ just wasn’t himself. You can’t judge him on that race,” said Gutierrez. “We all have off days and it was just his off day. He’s a class horse.”

Despite the disappointing result on the track, Not That Brady did secure a ‘win’ for the Belmont Child Care Association (BCCA) with his owners Michael Imperio, Lianna Stables [Vinny Vivolo] and trainer Rudy Rodriguez donating $5,000 to the BCCA, who endeavor to provide a safe, supportive and academically inspiring environment for the children of parents working in the thoroughbred racing backstretch area at all three NYRA tracks.

Gutierrez, his agent Jimmy Riccio, and NYRA racing analyst Anthony Stabile also contributed to the BCCA in honor of Not That Brady’s run in the Gotham.

“I’m so glad this program is out there. I wish every backside in the country would have something like it,” said Gutierrez from a stormy Aqueduct. “Look at the weather out there today. The hardest workers are back there right now getting horses ready, putting bandages on legs and mucking stalls. I did that for a long time for my father and I know what it’s like. These guys are the hardest workers and they’re taking care of our horses. If there’s anything we can do to help, they deserve it.”

On Sunday, Gutierrez will leave the gate for the first time as a journeyman and he said that his work ethic will remain the same.

“Nothing changes besides the extra weight I get,” said Gutierrez. “I’ll be able to ride a lot stronger. I like to get out there in the morning and ride horses. I was out there today and it’s flooding out there. I can put my rain suit on and I’ll work just as hard, if not harder. I’m happy to be a journeyman.”

The post Reylu Gutierrez Celebrates ‘Emotional’ First Graded Stakes Win appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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