When Monterrey Racing Stable Corp.’s Condestable scored his second career victory on April 25 at Calder Casino & Race Course, he sealed a second win not just for himself, but for the Monterrey family with father Pedro Monterrey as the owner and son Pedro Monterrey Jr. as the jockey.
While Monterrey is a new owner to the game, having only raced Condestable since his 2-year-old season in 2013, he is no stranger to the Thoroughbred industry, having rode for more than 30 years in various countries, including Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and the United States. He has been riding in the mornings for trainer Antonio Sano, and is now continuing his involvement in the Thoroughbred industry by being an owner with horses based at Calder.
“It’s a very beautiful experience,” said Monterrey. “You can spend more time caring for your horses; you can treat them more like your pet. All my life I have worked in Calder. I feel comfortable here in Calder, and my children live in the area, so for that reason I want to stay here.”
Monterrey Jr. has been aboard Condestable for all ten of his starts through this April, teaming up with his father in the mornings as well to help prepare the horse for his races as Monterrey gallops and Monterrey Jr. breezes the horse.
“We always expect the best,” said Monterrey Jr. “We don’t want to go too fast. We’re going to go step by step. We’ll keep working hard. We have done well with him so far. Working with the family is different; it’s something else. It’s magnificent. Everything goes smoothly. There’s no rushing about; Everybody knows his job in the barn.”
Monterrey has been spreading Thoroughbred industry wisdom to his sons long before they started working with horses. His son Richard Monterrey started his jockey career in South Florida in 2003 and currently rides in Maryland. Monterrey Jr. began his jockey career later that year. Harkyn, the youngest of the three sons, has worked in the shedrow for the past few years in addition to working on the front side of the track.
“It’s very emotional,” said Monterrey Jr. “I really like it because my dad knows a lot that I don’t know, so every time when I work with my dad I learn something. He teaches me about how to have patience with the horses, and he talks to me about how every horse is different, so you can’t train the horses the same way like in the army. You train the horse how he or she needs, so all horses are different to train. That’s what my dad tells me every day.”
Condestable’s most recent win came in a 1-mile claiming race on the dirt by an easy five and three-quarters of a length. He scored his first career victory at Calder on January 26 in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race on the turf by one and a half lengths.
Now having won on both surfaces, the options are open for Condestable’s next start. He also has stakes experience under his belt after running in the 1-mile Smooth Air Stakes on the dirt at Calder in March, where he finished sixth.
“I’m going to give him a few days rest and then think (of a race) within two or three weeks,” said Monterrey. “He has already tried a stake, but he wasn’t in perfect condition, and I think now, if he ran a good Beyer, I am going to consider him for another stake in the future. He surprised me because now he knows how to run on the dirt and the turf.”
While Condestable awaits his next start, the Monterrey Racing Stable Corp.’s stock has already begun to grow as a 2-year-old colt was added to the mix last week. Monterrey Jr. has been galloping him since his arrival.
While owning more horses is in the plans for Monterrey, he has an additional goal in mind for the future.
“It’s a passion to be with the horses, and for this reason, after 30 years of riding, I want to continue with a career in the horse industry,” said Monterrey. “Soon as a trainer. (Owning horses) is the first step.”