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BIGGER PICTURE: On a fast track to the top

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Put simply, Reylu Gutierrez is on a fast track. To where, you may ask. The highest level of competition in the “Sport of Kings” — thoroughbred racing.

The Farmington native has secured mounts on two horses, one to run in tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby and one today in the Kentucky Oaks for fillies. Though he has ridden at Churchill Downs before and is comfortable there, this is his first time in the “most exciting two minutes in sports” — arguably, the biggest race in the world.

It is a dream anyone connected to the sport on every level has. It was a dream for me just to photograph it. This year will be my sixth time.

For a guy like Rey, the odds of getting there were quite long.

He had been around racing all his life — his dad, Luis, is a leading trainer at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack — but his parents insisted that he get a college degree first. He did just that at SUNY Cortland. So, essentially, he got a late start in the game.

Literally thousands of riders work out horses in the morning at the biggest tracks with the hopes of someday getting a call to ride any race. That means making proper weight, being good at what you do, knowing the right people, and a whole lot of luck. All of that came........

© Finger Lakes Times

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