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Mario Gutierrez is inexperienced, but he'll have help from the best leading to Belmont
Trainer Doug O'Neill has lined up retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey to mentor inexperienced Mario Gutierrez in the weeks before his Triple Crown attempt aboard I'll Have Another in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
The plan is for Gutierrez and Bailey to go around the massive 1 ½-mile oval on horseback to help the 25-year-old rider understand the nuances of Belmont Park. The native of Mexico is expected to arrive in New York for the first time five days before he and the colt try to give thoroughbred racing its first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
O'Neill said efforts are under way to line up mounts here before the Belmont.
Bailey won the Belmont twice, with Hansel in 1991 and Empire Maker in 2003.