A perfect match on and off the track

GRANTS PASS — Luis Gonzalez and Angela Straight have a good thing going.

Gonzalez is one of the leading riders through the first two weekends of horse racing at Grants Pass Downs, and Straight is his agent.

But, they also are dating.

The pair have known each other for years, working with and around each other on the backside of tracks throughout the Northwest.

About a year ago, while getting breakfast following a morning training session, they entered into the personal relationship and haven't looked back.

Straight has three jobs at the track. In addition to being a jockey agent, she also gallops horses and ponies them.

During the week leading up to a race, she remains busy. Even during the interview for this story, she booked her jockeys with horses for Sunday races.

"One thing about working together is in the morning, he's off galloping horses and I'm off galloping my own horses," Straight said. "We touch base about entries and horses. A lot of the morning we're not really with each other. We get that time and space, and then we get the time to relax."

They said spending weeks on end on the road together hasn't caused any disturbances within their relationship.

"Being together and working together is good, I think, because we're in the same business," Straight said. "We understand how the work goes bad (or) good. We both understand the business so we're able to communicate well about it.

"Plus, it's horse racing. There's always a lot to talk about. So, conversation is always there."

Straight is also an agent for Ruben Camacho and apprentice jockey Eduardo Gutierrez-Sosa. Between her three jockeys, she has matched a horse and jockey together that ended up winning 16 of the 32 races the first weekend in Grants Pass.

Gonzalez has seven wins — trailing leader Troy Stillwell by two — while Gutierrez-Sosa has five and Camacho four entering this weekend.

For as hard as Straight works to pair her riders with the right horses, Gonzalez — the leading rider earlier this year at Union — said he's motivated to do even better to justify her picks.

"Yeah, I work harder," he said. "She works really hard (for me)."

Gonzalez also won the Pot O' Gold Futurity in Kennewick, Wash., and had the fastest time in the Firecracker Futurity time trials on the first Sunday at Grants Pass Downs, both on Eagle B Gone.

In addition to working her three jobs at the track, Gonzalez has been working with Straight to train her as jockey.

"She's good," he said. "She learns quickly."

Straight added, "That's my whole goal. That's why I try to do so many things like agenting and galloping and ponying. I'm just trying to learn as many things as possible. When I do get the chance to go and ride, I'll be knowledged."

For now, they will continue to work to grow their relationship and make a little money while they're at it.

"He makes money, I make money," she said. "I need to pick the right horses so we both can make money. Good horses make him look good. It's our livelihood."

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