Page 29 - NM Winter 2023
P. 29

                  Patricia Herrera
surgery from a top university and he’s starting his own practice. He needs some start-up money. They said, no problem.”
Miguel used the money to open a
small office near Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. He paid back the $60,000 within a year and in less than two years opened his own surgery center.
What had merely been a vision when he graduated from Las Vegas’ Robertson High School in the spring of 1983 was now reality. And New Mexico is where he wanted to be.
“When I came out (of Northwestern) I had offers to go anywhere in the country,” says the doctor. “Universities wanted me. I could have done anything I wanted to do. But my dream was the same one I’d always had. To come back to New Mexico and be some kind of a rancher or farmer. I had a relationship with the people of New Mexico. My family had always been prominent in northern New Mexico. I thought ...I want to live here again.”
Coming home also meant Miguel could reconnect with something that had been a big part of his youth--horse racing.
Today, Dr. Gallegos is a high profile, successful entrepreneur as both a clinician and horse racing aficionado as the founder and owner of Del Norte Racing.
A typical day for the doctor begins with his work in reconstructive and plastic surgery at his Hermosa Clinic in Albuquerque. It usually ends with a much more layback, late day, blue jeans, and boots on the ground ride through his 200-acre ranch in the very small
“I’ve been wearing cowboy boots since I was five years old,” says the doctor.
Contreras is about 60 miles south of Albuquerque and reachable by a side road that parallels Interstate 25. It dead ends a few miles further south in the equally small village of
La Joya.
The desert landscape on the two-lane road leading to the ranch can seem desolate, but the vistas and views are spectacular. From the Manzano Mountains to the east to Ladron (thief) Peak to the West, sunrise and sunset offer a panorama of colors.
The ranch is Miguel’s haven, his retreat from the demands of his day job.
“Plastic surgery is very difficult,” says Miguel. “To do a successful surgery and make somebody happy ... is very difficult. It’s a God given skill that I have, and I’ve been lucky.”
The ranch is home to a variety of wildlife. Depending on the season, deer and elk are frequently spotted on the ranch’s green pastures and humans and horses have to be wary of the occasional rattlesnake.
“He likes living out in the country,” says Adrian Esquibel, his ranch foreman for the past 20 years. “Living in Contreras, he gets to see the wild animals.”
On a good day the population in Contreras is about 25 people. In Contreras there’ more horses than humans.
Esquibel says there are 32 mares and three Kentucky-bred studs on the ranch.
The marquee stud is Lookin For Trouble, a
North America’s champion sire for four straight years. His first foals will be born in 2024.
The other studs are Metaboss and Bernster. Metaboss is an 11-year-old son of Street Boss, who earned more than $830,000 and finished out of the money only twice in 13 starts. Bernster is a son of the great sire Storm Cat, whose stud fee at the top of his breeding career was $500,000.
Esquibel said the mares, all young and
to date unproven, were acquired by Dr. Gallegos in New York, Kentucky, Florida and California. Dr. Gallegos said they expect to have over 30 mares in foal, most of them with Lookin For Trouble.
“He is reinventing himself,” said Esquibel. “He’s trying to inject new blood.”
The physical structures on the ranch include a 7 1/2 furlong training track, a palpating barn for mares, corrals and pens and an abundance of stalls. A large white cross near the doctor’s home stands on an embankment overlooking the ranch. Miguel placed the cross there when he bought the property.
“I always wanted to have a blessing over my farm, my workers and my animals,” says Miguel. “We’re faithful people and we need all the help we can get to do this (horse racing) thing.”
“I grew up with this,” says Miguel of why horse racing has always been a constant in his life.
Miguel Lorenzo Gallegos is the oldest of Tino and Anna’s three kids. He, along with brother Antonio and sister Krista, spent their childhoods in what could be considered idyllic
 village of Contreras. five-year-old son of Into Mischief, who has been surroundings. The family’s 120-acre farm in
   Pete Herrera
Adrian Esquibel
Adrian Esquibel
Miguel with foreman Adrian Esquibel
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