Gomez Family Gives Back to Thoroughbreds at 2017 Makeover
By Mary Perdue
Wife and daughter of champion jockey Garrett Gomez continue his legacy of love for the Thoroughbred and the sport of racing
Outside stall number 523 on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park, a 4-year old-grey gelding pokes his head out into the sun-drenched alley and nibbles at a paper flyer stapled to the adjacent wall describing barn rules and regulations. His name is Quick Louder and he is owned, trained and ridden by Amanda Gomez of Norco, CA. Gomez is the 14-year-old daughter of late Hall of Fame jockey Garrett Gomez and they were in Kentucky to compete at the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover accompanied by her mother, Pam.
Quick Louder’s racing career was not distinguished. The son of Woody Be Quick raced six times at Santa Anita and Los Alamitos at age two and three to earn just one win at the $3,500 claiming level for lifetime earnings of $5,600. His last race was in June of last year, barely 16 months before the 2017 Retired Racehorse Project event. Evidently the California-bred gelding didn’t thrive on the backstretch of the racetrack, but now, the 16’1” hand gelding has filled out and matured and is so relaxed he will let a stranger cradle and stroke his face, his eyes closed in contentment in the sun.
“He was pretty scrawny when we got him,” Amanda said with a smile. “(Now) he’s like a puppy dog.”
Quick Louder seems to be enjoying his new life as a show hunter/jumper, and is making remarkable progress jumping three feet and higher after only seven months of training. In the schooling ring before the show jumper event, Amanda took plenty of time to let Quick Louder get out some energy.
Amanda and Quick Louder’s best finish came in the show jumping event where the pair claimed 18th out of 75, with only two other junior riders scoring higher. The Gomez family’s participation in the Thoroughbred Makeover and traveling cross-country to participate represented a lot more than just OTTB lovers entering a horse show. The Gomezes are prominent participants in the Southern California OTTB community, so making the trek to Kentucky for the RRP was a logical choice.
“We had to do it,” Pam said. “Thoroughbreds gave us everything we have. We’re always trying to do things for them.”
Among the family’s most recent OTTB efforts was an “Extreme Barrel Racing” event held in April at Ingalls Park in Norco, CA. Pam and Amanda, along with the Jerry Lunde family, organized and incented the inaugural gymkhana, which is a combination of barrel racing and jumps designed to, “showcase the versatility and adaptability of off-track thoroughbreds.”
The event was dedicated to the memory of Garrett Gomez.
Less than two months before this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover, Garrett Gomez was posthumously inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame and Amanda accepted the award in person at the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, NY, on his behalf. It’s clear watching her ride that she’s inherited her father’s passion for the breed and desire to win. Her goal is to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team someday.
Her dad would be very proud.