BY Dick Jerardi
Guadalupe Preciado’s first win as a trainer came at Philadelphia Park on June 4, 1989, with a first-time starter named Broadway Bouncer. His 2,000th win came at Parx Racing on Nov. 16, 2000, with a first-time starter named Chub Wagon.
It was the same footprint where he had first won 31 years before. His 12 graded stakes wins and amazing run to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Favorite Tale came in between those milestones for the man who first attended the races as an 11-year-old in Mexico City.
Two days after Preciado got 2,000, he got 2,001 at Parx with a horse ridden by Mychel Sanchez. Where is the 2,001 sign, Sanchez asked Preciado with a smile.
Every win has been earned by a man who has trained 20 horses with more than $200,000 in earnings, including Caught in the Rain, Mr. Nasty, and Favorite Tale, a $1 million earner who won the 2014 Gallant Bob at Parx and 2015 Smile Stakes before running third in the BC Sprint. Preciado has started 11,909 horses with those 2,001 wins, 1,829 seconds, 1,722 thirds and $44,714,767 in earnings. It has been some career.
“Mr. Nasty ran against the best horses in New York every time,’’ Preciado remembered. “He won the Tom Fool. He beat Rubiano.’’
It was July 13, 1991, when Mr, Nasty, ridden by the great Angel Cordero, wired the field and upset favored Rubiano in the Tom Fool. Mr. Nasty was owned by Jack Mondel who Preciado has long credited with giving him his start and some of his best horses.
Mr. Nasty, Preciado remembered fondly, won races with Cordero, Julie Krone, Jerry Bailey, and Mike Smith, Hall of Famers all.
Preciado worked with trainer J. Bowes Bond when he first came to the United States. Later, he went to Churchill Downs with 1981 Kentucky Derby favorite Proud Appeal, the colt trained by Stanley Hough. Then, he worked with his wife Wendy Mutnick when she trained the horses. He took over as the trainer when she had their first child. They can be seen at their Parx barn together every day.
The trainer has 18 horses in his barn these days, many fewer horses than he had in years like 1994 when he won 116 races, 1997 when he won 120 and 2004 when he won 118, 30th best in the country. This year, it’s 125 starters with 25 wins, 20 seconds, and 16 thirds. In his career, he has won with a solid 17 percent and 47 percent in the top three.
Preciado’s first starter came two weeks before his first win. That was at Garden State Park on May 20, 1989. So he has lasted 20 years longer than the track where his first horse ran, a perfect tribute to the man who started winning early in his career and never stopped.