JUAN GUTIERREZ NO. 1 ALL-TIME AT EMERALD DOWNS
AUBURN, Wash. (Oct. 14, 2020) – 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 2,033 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
NOTES: Total mutuel handle Wednesday was $1,433,921. . .Pin Up Lady ($13.40) became a three-time winner at the meet with a victory in the opener under Alex Cruz for trainer Charles Essex and owner/breeder Hank Gott. The victory extended Cruz’ consecutive winning days streak to 20. . .Cruz also notched a $26.20 upset on Sovereign Nation and tops the standings with 59 wins. . .Leslie Mawing rode three winners including a $29.20 score aboard Gentle Prince that gave owner/trainer Picho Garcia his first win of the season. . .Cerapio Figueroa also rode two winners Wednesday as four jockeys—Mawing, Cruz, Figueroa and Juan Gutierrez—combined to win all nine races on the card. . .Live racing continues Thursday with a 10-race card at 5 p.m.