Gutierrez wins first stakes race aboard Susie Bee in Powder Break

Gutierrez wins first stakes race aboard Susie Bee in Powder Break
Photo: Lauren King
Trainer Michael Maker waived ‘the bug’ when he named apprentice jockey Reyluis Gutierrez to ride Susie Bee in Saturday’s $75,000 Powder Break at Gulfstream Park, and the 22-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y. returned the favor with a ride worthy of a journeyman that produced a late-closing victory in the mile turf event for fillies and mares.
Calumet Farms’ Susie Bee ($32), in turn, rewarded Gutierrez with the first stakes victory of his young career.
“I feel very thankful that Mr. Maker gave me this opportunity, and Calumet Farms. The grooms, the exercise riders, they work so hard to have this horse prepared,” Gutierrez said. “I was just a passenger out there. They deserve the credit.”
Gutierrez was much more than a mere passenger after breaking from the No. 10 post position aboard Susie Bee, who has excelled over the Gulfstream turf course during her career. Although forced somewhat wide on the first turn, Susie Bee was settled in mid-pack along the backstretch. Susie Bee raced between horses, as Sylphide set the pace, chased by Conquest Hardcandy and Madame Uno, past solid fractions of 23.35 (seconds) and 46.93 and 1:10.45 for the first six furlongs. After straightening out in the stretch, Gutierrez found a seam to angle out Susie Bee for the drive as Conquest Hardcandy spurted to a clear lead.
Susie Bee, a winner of multiple stakes over the Gulfstream turf, took over from there, producing a powerful late kick to win by 1 ¼ lengths over Conquest Hardcandy.
“She’s great. She’s easy to settle. I was a little wide on the first turn, but after going around, she just gave me everything,” Gutierrez said.
Susie Bee ran a mile over good footing in 1:35.77. Conquest Hardcandy, a 10-1 longshot ridden by Edgard Zayas, finished second, a half-length ahead of Lipstick City and Miguel Vasquez.
Gutierrez delayed his riding career to attend Cortland State University in Upstate New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology. The son of a trainer, Luis Gutierrez, and the nephew of a jockey, Jose Gutierrez, he never gave up on his dream to become a jockey.
“Just growing up around horses my whole life, I learned to work hard. My parent always instilled that in me,” he said. “I would drive home weekends from college and told them I wanted to be a jockey. They said, ‘You’ve got to bring us your four-year degree, then we’ll push you to reach your dreams.’ I’m very thankful for that. “
Conquest Sandman Puts Rivals to Sleep in Miesque’s Approval   
Conquest Sandman put his rivals to sleep while setting a slow pace in Saturday’s $75,000 Miesque’s Approval at Gulfstream Park on his way to a length victory in the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
Deftly ridden by Carlos Montalvo, the 5-year-old son of Scat Daddy set comfortable fractions of 25.29 (seconds) and 49.27 and 1:12.55 for the first six furlongs over a good turf course, reserving more than enough energy to emerge with his second stakes triumph since being claimed for $16,000 by Costa Brava and trainer Juan Carlos Aberrio Feb. 10.
“We were very lucky everything happened the way we wanted. We went to the lead and were able to slow him down. It worked out perfect,” Montalvo said. “I had a hard time pulling him up after the race.”
Conquest Sandman ($13.80) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.08 to prevail over 2-1 favorite Fast and Accurate, who was checked by jockey Edgard Zayas while trying to find room to get off the rail in the stretch. Uncle B, who stalked the pace outside Fast and Accurate, finished third another half-length back.
Conquest Sandman, who captured the Old Man Elegant starter stakes only seven days after being claimed, has now won three of five starts for his new connections and has won seven of 18 career starts.
Montalvo, who picked up the mount aboard Conquest Sandman Saturday, made the most of his opportunity, as he had done on many occasions since basing in South Florida full time a little over a year ago.

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