In this video seen herewith, ABC’s Charlsie Cantey interviews Snow Chief’s Trainer Mel Stute….which is followed by Jack Whitaker’s interview with Snow Chief Jockey Alex Solis prior to the 1986 Kentucky Derby.
Melvin Frederick “Mel” Stute (born August 8, 1927) is an American trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses…. who on December 11, 2010 at Hollywood Park Racetrack won the 2000th race of a career….which includes a win in the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes in 1986….the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies that same year….and the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Stute is the younger brother of trainer Warren Stute (1921–2007)…..whose family moved to California in 1934….when Mel was seven years old. In his teens, Stute worked as a groom at Santa Anita Racetrack before winning his first race as a trainer in 1947 at Portland Meadows Racetrack in Portland, Oregon. Since then he has won twelve training titles at various California tracks of which six were at Fairplex Park Racetrack….where he is the all-time leader in races won.
Alex O. Solis (born March 25, 1964) is a jockey based in the United States….who currently lives in Glendora, California and rides predominantly in Southern California….who got his big break and his first gained national prominence when he won the 1986 Preakness Stakes with Snow Chief. In 2014, he was elected to the horse racing hall of fame….and on January 1, 2015 became the 29th jockey in North American history to have 5,000 wins. Solis’ first rode in the Kentucky Derby in 1983 on a long shot named Current Hope…but did not place in the money. He rode the Derby again in 1986 on Snow Chief …. who had won the Santa Anita Derby….and was the morning line favorite….but again finished well back.
The horse and rider went on to win the Preakness Stakes that year….which marks Solis’ only win to date in an American Triple Crown race. He was third in the 1991 Derby on Mane Minister….and also was 3rd in the Belmont Stakes on the same horse….then Solis finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness with Captain Bodgit in 1997….2nd in the Derby with Victory Gallop in 1998….and 2nd in both the Derby and the Belmont with Aptitude in 2000. His first Breeders’ Cup win was the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Kona Gold…..then he won two Breeders’ Cup races in 2003 with Johar….who finished in a dead heat in the Breeders’ Cup Turf….and the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Pleasantly Perfect….both trained by Richard Mandella. He ended 2003 ranked fourth nationally in purse earnings with a career-best $16,304,252.