Photo: Don August
In December of 2011, jockey Kevin Krigger decided to move his tack from Golden Gate Fields to take a shot at the Southern California circuit. Next week, he will return to the bay area and ride full time in Northern California.
Krigger has selected Ray Harris as his agent. Harris, is also the agent for leading rider Russell Baze
“Business has slowed down there and at this stage of my career is more of a family decision,” Krigger said Saturday after riding three horses at Golden Gate Fields. “I'm taking care of my family. If it was about chasing my dreams I would have stayed down there but its not. I'm coming to some place where it's comfortable. This is like home to me.”
When Krigger returned to the bay area in 2011, he immediately rose near the top of the jockey standings. He finished 5th in the short summer meet and second behind Russell Baze in the two month long winter meet.
But in an attempt to rise to the next level, the 29-year-old native of the St. Croix of the Virgin Islands, left GGF at the end of 2011 and began to find his niche in So Cal. His success led him to gaining the mount on Goldencents. His wins aboard the Doug O’Neill trainee in the Sham Stakes and Santa Anita Derby put the two of them on track for the Triple Crown.
After finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby, Krigger made the decision to accompany the horse to Pimlico and stay there for the two weeks until the Preakness, rather than returning home to ride. After a 5th place finish in the Preakness and a runner up effort in the Bing Crosby, Krigger lost the mount on Goldencents. Some people feel his time away cost him some business he never got back.
“The way I see it, if I went back there (so Cal) instead of going to stay at the Preakness, I think I’d be in the same predicament,” he said. “There's no second guessing my decision. I stuck with the guys that stuck with me and that’s why I went over there the day after the Kentucky Derby. Me and Tom (agent Knust) didn’t have much in the book. It was a roll of the dice. If we win the Preakness we can get back rolling but we didn’t, and I’m back here now. I have no regrets.”
In the most recent meets at Santa Anita, Del Mar and Barretts at Fairplex, Krigger won just 6 races in 96 mounts. At the current Hollywood Park meet he is win less in 8 starts.