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HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

For a Jockey, It's All About the Timing

In horse racing, timing is everything for a jockey.

Knowing how fast to go or when to make the right move in race can be the difference between an exciting win or a heart breaking loss.

Kevin Krigger is proving that his timing is just as good on the track, as it is off of it.

Saturday, Krigger guided the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee U R All That I Am to a 1 length win in the $50,000 Work the Crowd Stakes.

It was all about the timing.

Krigger sat patiently behind the pace setting 3-5 favorite Antares World, for the first ¾ of a mile. Ms G. I. Jane applied token pressure to leader through out, allowing Krigger to sit chilly on the rail.

On the far turn, the two leaders were now head to head and Krigger had been passed by a pair of horses, putting him briefly in the 5th spot. But just as fast, he put U R All That I am on the attack, swinging to the outside turning for home and went by the stubborn leaders in the final eighth of a mile.

“I knew the horse to beat was in front of me, I just wanted to wait, wait, wait,” Krigger said of the stakes win. “It was a tactical speed race planned out perfect. I sat right off the speed, when it was time to go, she just went on. Antares World tried to come back but I had too much horse.”

The victory was the first stakes win of the meet for the 27-year-old from St. Croix of the Virgin Islands.
His return to Golden Gate Fields also proved to be timing done perfect.

Krigger showed up to ride here in early February, after taking time off to take care of some business matters back home. He had last rode a horse on September 26th 2010, at Emerald Downs and many thought he was here to get in race riding shape for the opening of Emerald in early April. But he quickly dispelled that thought with a proclamation that he was here to stay.

Since then, he has done nothing but win races and win fans.

“I had been thinking about (coming back here) for a while since the last time I was here and I wanted the next time to be exactly what it is right now. I wanted the agent (Boone McCanna) I have now and everything to be going the way it is,” he said. “It’s going according to plans.”

So far, since he began on February 6th, Krigger has won 38 of 176 mounts for a win percentage of 22% and a 49% in the money ratio.

He has found a connection with trainer Steve Sherman, winning at a 50 % mark for the trainer (19-for-38) and has now won three stakes races for Jerry Hollendorfer (winning the Portland Oaks and Portland Derby on Alec’s Moon) at Portland Meadows.

Kriggers success has come from hard work and a determined effort to make it in a very tough place for a jockey to break in.

“I did really hope that by this time of the meet I’d be doing a little better,” Krigger said. “I can’t complain how I'm doing now, I’m happy. But who doesn’t want better.”

News and Notes

Trainers Steve Specht and Jerry Hollendorfer opted to go to Hollywood Park Saturday instead of staying at GGF for the Work the Crowd.

Specht had his other star filly, Lady Railrider, running in the B. Thoughtful Stakes and in a matter of 15 minutes lost two stakes races by a total of 2 lengths.

Lady Railrider ridden by Russell Baze was caught at the wire by Ultra Blend down south, losing by a length after setting the pace. Ultra Blend is trained by longtime Golden Gate Fields trainer Art Sherman, father of current trainer Steve Sherman.

Hollendorfer fared better in his stakes, as he not only won the Work the Crowd, but also saddled Going for a Spin to a victory in the Warren’s Thoroughbreds Stakes.

Streaking Combo

I mentioned earlier about the Steve Sherman/Kevin Krigger success rate but how about the connection of Aaron Gryder and John F. Martin.

Through Saturday, Gryder has ridden 9 horses for Martin and won 8 of them, only a nose loss kept them from being perfect together.
 

 

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Older Comments about For a Jockey, It's All About the Timing...

Yes Craig, 50% is nothing to take lightly.Brian, when we left him in the jocks room after interviewing him, he said "I'll see you guys again next week." Not sure who he's riding in the SF MIle but he is confident.
kevin krigger/steve sherman combo. is a good bet at ggf.
Kevin Krigger has beein doing well all meet, it's good to see him break through in a stakes race.

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Meet Don August

I have been involved in horse racing, from a fan to sportswriter, for the past 30 years. The first time my dad took me to the track, I picked a horse named "Black Tornado" and when he won, I was hooked.  From then on, I spent weekends and occasional school days at the race track, and my enjoyment of the sport led me to try my hand at being a jockey agent, which i did for 3 years. When that didn't work out as I had hoped, I concentrated on my writing career by covering big races and doing summer fair handicapping, off and on, for the Contra Costa Times.

Today, I stay involved in the sport by being part of a group that currently owns two horses stabled at Golden Gate Fields. As all owners, we have dreams of someday having that special horse.  Besides writing about horse racing I enjoy covering many sports and have had the honor of meeting and writing about some incredible athletes.