Two Triple Crown winning jockeys have weighed in with their thoughts about the 2012 Belmont Stakes and a possible 12th Triple Crown. As horse racing fans around the world are thinking Trple Crown, Kentucky Derby Tours wanted to hear what the jockeys who had won felt about Mario Gutierrez and I’ll Have Another’s chances on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes.
Ron Turcotte, jockey of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, has always claimed the Belmont Stakes is an easy race to ride because all you have to do is get your horse to relax.
“What a lot of fans don’t know is this is an easy race to ride. Because it is a long distance of a mile and a half, all the jockey has to do is get his horse to relax early by taking a long hold of the reins and get them to settle down, just as they do galloping in the morning,” said Turcotte.
In his years of watching the race since winning the Triple Crown aboard Secretartiat in 1973, Turcotte has noticed mistakes by many of the jockeys who ride in the race, including the ones going for the Triple Crown. He says they frequently move too soon leaving their horses with too much to do so they are tiring before they get to the wire.
Turcotte says he thinks there will be a Triple Crown winner this year because jockey Mario Gutierrez and I’ll Have Another have confidence in each other.
Former jockey Steve Cauthen, who is most remembered for guiding Affirmed to the last Triple Crown in 1978, has kept a hands off approach with I’ll Have Another’s jockey Mario Gutierrez. But that doesn’t mean he won’t weigh in on the 25-year-old’s approach.
“It’s a long three weeks,” Cauthen said. “People are always saying, ‘are you worried about this, are you worried about that,’ putting negative thoughts in your head. But I think he’s got the right mentality. He says ‘I’m lucky to be here, I’m going to take it as it comes, I’m going to give 100 percent, I know my horse will give 100 percent. If it happens it happens.’ I think that’s a good attitude to have.
“He’s not enthralled with the limelight, he wants to ride races,” Cauthen added. “I felt the same way. I want to do my job. I want to do it the best I can.”