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Kentucky Derby excitement continues to mount as Vancouver cheers on one of its own

May 1, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Mario Gutierrez aboard St. Liam's Halo on Canada Day, 2011, at Hastings Racecourse
(photo by Robert Cooke, Jr.)
With home-brew jockey Mario Gutierrez experiencing the thrill of a lifetime with his ride aboard I’ll Have Another in the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 5, the ideal place to share in the wave of excitement will be Hastings Racecourse.

The Kentucky Derby will be shown on a colossal vision screen located on the infield at Hastings where a special video highlighting some of Mario’s finest riding moments will be featured prior to the Derby.

Also, fans will be able to enter for a chance to win $20 win/place/show wagers on the Kentucky Derby by filling out a ballot in the Official Program and dropping it in a box representing their favorite Derby pick. The draw will occur in the winner’s circle following the second Hastings race on Saturday’s card. One winner from each of the Kentucky Derby contenders draw box will be selected. Winners will receive a $20 win, $20 place and $20 show wager of their picks on the 2012 Kentucky Derby race.

Not to be overlooked in all of the Kentucky Derby hype is the fact the May 5-6 weekend at Hastings features two $50,000 stakes with the Jim Coleman Province on Saturday and John Longden 6000 on Sunday.

Mario Gutierrez has another Mario in his corner in legendary leader of famous Andrettti clan—World Champion auto racer has advice for local jock

From one Mario to another, the message is simply: “Give it your best shot and enjoy the moment.”

With fond memories of his Molson Indy Vancouver visits during the 1990’s, auto racing icon Mario Andretti has taken more than a passing interest in the fact jockey Mario Gutierrez will be experiencing the thrill of a lifetime with his ride in the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby May 5 at Churchill Downs.

“I can just imagine what the young man is going through,” Andretti says from his corporate office in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. “With pretty well an entire country pulling for him, he’ll be under a lot of pressure. But in racing, no matter the format, that comes with the territory.”

Andretti—the 1967 Daytona 500 winner, 1969 Indy 500 winner, and 1978 Formula One World Champion—was a four-time Indy Car national champion among his many accomplishments. Although he never won the Molson Indy Vancouver, his son Michael took the checkered flag there three times. Mario’s best finish at Vancouver was third in 1990 and he raced the following three years until his final full season of competition in 1994.

Gutierrez was leading rider at Hastings Racecourse in 2007 and 2008 and lost his bid for a third title to Richard Hamel on the final day of last year’s schedule. Gutierrez, 24, rides Santa Anita Derby winner I’ll Have Another for owner Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill in the famous Run for the Roses.