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
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
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.”
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.
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.