Trainer Gustavo Delgado gave his son, Gustavo Delgado Jr., strict orders not to spend more than $100,000 for a colt he coveted at the 2022 Fasing-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Despite this, the younger Delgado managed to secure the horse for $155,000, and it turned out to be a wise investment. That horse, named Mage, just won the 149th Kentucky Derby, making Delgado Sr. a very proud trainer.
Mage's victory has been met with great excitement in Venezuela, where Delgado Sr. hails from. The horse has deep ties to the South American country, having been bred there and ridden by Venezuelan jockey Emisael Jaramillo in its early races. Delgado Sr. has been training horses in the United States since the early 2000s, but he has never forgotten his roots.
On Derby day, Delgado Sr. was filled with uncontrollable joy as Mage surged down the final stretch to claim victory. He ran through well-wishers and right past the national television cameras, celebrating with unbridled passion. This was a moment he had been working towards for years, and it was finally here.
Mage's victory was far from assured, as the horse had 15-1 odds heading into the race. But Delgado Sr. had faith in his horse and in jockey Javier Castellano, who had won the Kentucky Derby before. Castellano rode Mage expertly, staying near the back of the pack for most of the race before making a strong move down the stretch to overtake Two Phil's and claim victory.
After the race, Delgado Sr. spoke to reporters about what this victory meant to him. He reflected on all the hard work that went into preparing Mage for the race, from the early training sessions to the countless hours spent studying other horses and jockeys. He also talked about how proud he was to have his son, Gustavo Delgado Jr., be a part of this moment. The younger Delgado is an up-and-coming trainer himself, and he was instrumental in securing Mage for the team.
Mage's victory is a testament to the skill and dedication of everyone involved in its training and racing. But it is also a reminder of the power of sport to bring people together across borders and cultures. Delgado Sr. and his team may be based in the United States, but their connection to Venezuela is strong, and they take great pride in representing their home country on the international stage.
In the aftermath of the Kentucky Derby, Delgado Sr. and his team will be looking ahead to future races and challenges. They know that the road ahead will not be easy, and that there will be many more obstacles to overcome. But they also know that they have a winning formula, built on hard work, dedication, and a deep love for the sport of horse racing.