When it comes to being a groom, Luis Cabello, at the Antonio Sano barn, approaches all five of his horses with confidence, dedication and an enthusiasm for his job.
“Since I started 17 years ago, I always liked to dream big,” he said.
Gunnevera made Luis’s aspirations a reality as he realized every groom’s dream, to saddle a horse running in the Kentucky Derby.
“This was amazing, words cannot describe how much this meant to me. I’ve waited 17 years for an opportunity like this, and to be part of one of the most important races in the world? Unreal,” he recalled.
“The best part was sharing this experience with my friends and family. I’ve been a groom to literally hundreds of horses but when we got Gunnevera, I knew right away he was something special. It was not only how talented he is, but how intelligent he is. Sure, he’s playful and fun in the barn area, but the minute he steps foot on that race track he is all business.,” he said.
Luis’s own passion for horses stems from his early childhood years in Mexico. His family has been involved with horses and racing for many generations, Luis said he considers himself lucky to come from a family with such a solid tradition with horses.
Luis came to the United States about 19 years ago and has always lived and worked as a groom here in Florida. Six years ago, Luis began working for trainer and Venezuela native Antonio Sano.
Sano said he considers his barn fortunate to have someone like Luis on board.
“Luis is an excellent groom, he’s very skilled at his job, he’s sincere, has a great work ethic and is a top-notch professional,” Sano said.
“His ability to let me know exactly what’s going on with the horses is excellent, he has a very sharp eye, and I have confidence in him,” he said.
Luis was chosen as “Groom of the Month” by the Florida HBPA for the month of May. It’s a very exciting honor to him.
“I am so grateful for this fantastic recognition. Thank you to my amazingly supportive family for putting up with my work schedule and to my boss, Antonio Sano, who is a huge inspiration, and of course thanks to Gunnevera,” Luis concluded.