Gayego made his racing debut as a two-year-old on November 18 in a winning effort in a maiden special weight race at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. On December 28, he won an allowance race at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California.
Gayego made his first start outside of California in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby on April 12 at Oaklawn Park Race Track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was also his first start on a conventional dirt surface. After contesting the early pace, Gayego took the lead around the final turn and then held off a late bid from Z Fortune to win by three-quarters of a length.
He participated in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though he was one of the favorites at the 2008 Kentucky Derby, he finished 17th in the field. He was again among the betting favorites in the 2008 Preakness Stakes, but failed to finish in the money after taking the early lead, ending up 11th of 12.
Smith likes chances aboard Gayego: Hall-of-Famer heads to the Kentucky Derby with Arkansas winner.(HORSE RACING: Oaklawn)
Apr 28, 2008; JOCKEY MIKE SMITH, THE 42-year-old New Mexico native who was inducted into thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame in 2003, knows...