LIFE AT THE QUARTER POLE is an ongoing blog dedicated to the awe-inspiring world of horse racing. This site is comprised primarily of articles and feature stories, and our main objective is to showcase the Sport of Kings in the most uncommon of ways.
Quote of the Month
"Immortality has been realized once the roar of the crowd has been united."
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
PROFILES FROM THE GRANDSTAND
Anthony Gutierrez: The Southern California Kid
journey in life can begin without a defining moment, a wrinkle in time when everything
that was formerly understood becomes forever changed. Horse players often
happen upon this moment during their first visit to the track, yet for Anthony
Gutierrez, that initial trip to Santa Anita Park in 2006 was far from
unforgettable. “All I can remember was a feeling of boredom and wanting to leave,”
Tony recalls. Just eight years later, it is essential to now reflect on the evolution
of a horse player by taking a closer look at the growth of the man.
Anthony Gutierrez and girlfriend Carla at Santa Anita Park
was born in the Southern California city of Long Beach in 1987. The oldest of
four children, he has two brothers and a younger sister. He spent a portion of his
childhood in the Central Valley town of Modesto, but has called Long Beach home
for the vast majority of his years. Memories from youth often draw out like a
highlight reel in the mind, and if this holds truth for Tony, the most
treasured images on his reel are those revolving around his mother. He credits
her for both his upbringing and for making the sacrifices necessary to raise
four children as a single parent. “My mom was the ultimate role model,” Tony stated.
school, Tony excelled in history, but also admits to having harbored an intense
dislike for math. Sports played a pivotal role in his early life as well. “It
seemed that I was involved in one sport or another at all times,” he explains.
“Baseball was definitely close to my heart, but soccer will always be my first
love.” As he matured into adulthood, Tony would soon carry that affection he
held for competition into an arena he had yet to explore.
young man from Long Beach would first watch the horses run at the insistence of
his girlfriend, Carla. Despite the detachment he felt during that first trip to
the race track, Tony chose to give horse racing another chance. Eventually, the
sport that he had once declared a mystery had attracted him to a new way of life.
A Day at the Races
has attended races at all of the tracks on the Southern California thoroughbred
circuit. This includes Santa Anita Park, Del Mar, Fairplex, and the recently
closed Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood. Each venue offers something
distinct and appealing to its guests, yet none are as special to Tony as Los
Alamitos Race Course in the city of Cypress. The track best known for its quarter
horse racing is the site that Tony considers his home away from home. It is
there he can likely be found on most any weekend of the year.
players develop their craft with a particular style by which they approach the
game. For Tony, the pick four is by far and away his favorite of all the
possible wagers. His tickets are primarily designed based on the strength of
his selections and on the sequence that awaits him. “I enjoy the value that can
be found in a succession of races,” Tony remarked.
various handicapping angles to finalize his tickets, Tony relies heavily on
both class and pace to help determine his action plan. He also employs another
tactic that is utilized by many seasoned horse players, and that is to play the
entire race out in his head prior to the horses ever stepping onto the track.
feels that his greatest strength lies with the quarter horses, attributing this
to the experience he has gained while watching them run on a regular basis. He
does concede, however, that he hopes to improve his handicapping through a
greater understanding of fractions. “I would like a more in depth grasp of how the
fractions in a race will ultimately impact the outcome of a contest,” he says.
far, Tony has used the knowledge he has attained to make several notable
scores, the largest coming on a pick four ticket at Los Alamitos that netted
him roughly five-thousand dollars.
Over the years, he has had the opportunity
to witness many of the sport’s greatest athletes compete. Garrett Gomez and
Rodrigo Aceves are two jockeys he admires greatly. Bodemeister
and Curlin are among his most beloved thoroughbreds, and he is quick to note
Apolitical Jess, Wave Carver, and Blues Girl Two as three of his all-time
favorite quarter horses. The most memorable moment Tony recounts in racing was
watching Zenyatta win her nineteenth consecutive start in the Lady’s Secret
Stakes at Hollywood Park.
years has eternally altered the course of Anthony Gutierrez’s life. In that short
period of time, an inquisitive young man became a horse player, but perhaps more
importantly, that horse player has begun to realize his dreams not only at the
track, but away from it.
does construction work part-time and is currently working towards a college
degree in communications. He lists jogging, reading, and spending time at the
beach as just a few of his other interests. He is an avid sports fan aside from
racing, and he places great emphasis on the relationships that he maintains
with others. Family is an integral part of Tony’s life, but food is a main
ingredient as well. The Southern California Kid would happily direct anyone
interested to the best spot in Long Beach for a torta de asada or a wet
goals that Tony has set for himself are admirable. Graduating from college is
near the top of this list, but the idea of marriage at some point in the future
is also a very motivating objective. “When I have children, I plan on becoming
the male role model that was absent in my own youth,” he professes. Stability
is now of the utmost importance to Tony, and it takes little more than a brief
conversation with him to sense his sincerity.
journey in life can begin without a defining moment, but then again, no moment
in and of itself can define the entire journey, either. Unfinished stories are
commonly riddled with uncertainty, yet as Anthony Gutierrez’s story continues
to unfold, it is brilliantly clear that his outgoing nature and sharp intellect
will allow him to accomplish many great things.
Follow Tony on Twitter at Anthony Doubles@tony_pk4