Garrett Gomez: A Tale of Addiction and Salvation

The charismatic jockey and author Rudolph Alvarado to sign copies of their upcoming book, April 7

By Yvette Robertson
Published on LatinoLA: March 19, 2012

Garrett Gomez: A Tale of Addiction and Salvation

Mutliple-Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez will be signing copies of his upcoming book, "The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey's Journey Through Addiction & Salvation" at Santa Anita Park on April 7, 2012. The signing will take place starting at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Joining Gomez will be the book's author, award-winning biographer Rudolph Valier Alvarado. Alvarado was personally selected by Gomez to assist him in writing the story of his troubled past related to alcohol and drug abuse.

In a recent feature story related to the book on ESPN.com, Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Claire Novak noted that, "This is no feel-good saga, no celebrity biography trumpeting a long list of accomplishments. While Alvarado takes a gut-wrenching, no-holds-barred look at the roller coaster struggles and triumphs that have been Gomez's life, the jockey reveals more than has ever been told. Painful and heartbreaking at first, the book ultimately becomes a celebration of redemption against all odds, a real story of one man's battle to survive his own weakness."

Gomez last stole the national spotlight in the Breeders' Cup Classic when over 4 million television viewers tuned in to NBC to watch him and his mount Blame beat the previously undefeated wonder mare Zenyatta. Gomez's 2012 racing season was off to a blistering start at Santa Anita Park where he won six stakes races in the meet's first ten days. He suffered a broken heel in January and is hoping to return to racing by mid-March.

Since that time, he's assisted Alvarado in putting the finishing touches to the book. "It's been difficult at times," Gomez explained in regards to the process of telling his story, "but I wanted to share it as a way of inspiring others struggling to overcome a dependence on alcohol and drugs to give it up and seek help."

Gomez's return to horse racing in 2004, after being away from the sport for close to two years, has been widely documented. However, as the book reveals, Gomez's struggles with alcohol and drugs is something that has been a part of his life since he was a teenager and a way of life that he was introduced to as a young boy. "Alcohol and drug use was prevalent on his mother's side of the family," Alvarado explained, "and as a boy as young as six or seven years old Garrett experimented with drugs and alcohol. That he was able to overcome his lifelong dependence on alcohol and drugs is truly amazing, and that he's managed to maintain his sobriety and drug-free lifestyle and dominate his sport after all these years is commendable and extraordinary."

Today, Gomez is known the world over as one of thoroughbred racing's top jockeys. Since his return to racing in 2004, he won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding jockey two years in a row (2007-2008) and led the nation in purse earnings four years in a row from 2006 to 2009. In 2010, he upset Zenyatta aboard Blame in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic, and has won major races like the Pacific Classic in California and the Travers Stakes in New York. In 2007, he broke Jerry Bailey's record for stakes victories in a season, winning 76 of them.

The following year he almost eclipsed Bailey's record for earnings by a jockey in one season ($23,354,960), falling little more than $10,000 short. He won the Breeders' Cup World Championships' Shoemaker Award four times and was given the George Woolf Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a rider by his peers, in 2011. All in all, he has ridden 20,574 starters and made 3,569 trips to the winner's circle with earnings of $188,580,572.

The book will be released on April 14 to those pre-ordering the piece, a full month and a half before the book is officially released on May 30. Pre-orders can be made at thegarrettgomezstory.com. Those purchasing copies at this time will not only receive their book before the release date, they will also be able to obtain a copy at a considerable savings.

"The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey's Journey Through Addiction & Salvation" is being published by Caballo Press of Ann Arbor. The equine related publisher won the Thoroughbred industry's top literary prize, the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, in 2008 for "The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita", also penned by Alvarado.

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