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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

Krigger and Our Nautique Score in the San Francisco Mile

When the list of entrants for the $100,000 Grade 3 San Francisco Mile was released last Wednesday, race track observers noticed a few things about the  nine horses that would go to the post.

First, it was a race laden with stakes winners as 5 of the hopefuls had stakes wins on their resumes. There was defending SF Mile champ Bold Chieftain, Grade 3 winner Blue Chagall, Inglewood Handicap winner Gallant Son, La Puente Stakes winner Dream Netttie and 2010 Alcatraz Stakes winner Hudson Landing.

Secondly, a pair of  southern California riders, Brice Blanc and Patrick Valenzuela were listed to ride, something that has become pretty rare these days. It’s not often a jockey misses a Saturday card at Hollywood Park to come to Golden Gate Fields.

So excitement was in the air,  as all of this seemingly assured the race would be a hotly contested turf mile. Or, at least we thought it would lead to that. One person had something completely different in mind. That person was jockey Kevin Krigger.

You may remember last week, I told you how hot Krigger has been, when he scored a win in the Work the Crowd Stakes, by riding Jerry Hollendorfer’s U R All That I am to the win.

It was Kriggers first stakes win of the meet and as the reporters left the jockeys room following our interview with Krigger that day, the jockey said, “We will see you guys next week.”

He was so right.

Krigger took the lead out of the gate on Our Nautique, another Hollendorfer horse, and settled into a nice pace to lead all the way around. When the horses turned for home, and the real race riding began, the race was essentially over.

Krigger  and Our Nautique maintained a safe lead down the stretch and won the SF Mile by 1 ¾ lengths over Gallant Son who was ¾ ahead of race favorite Sebastian Flyte.

Just as Krigger predicted, we were once again at his locker, waiting for the winning jockey.

“It was a perfect trip, just the way you would want it,” Krigger said as he watched the replay on the television over his locker reliving the ride. “Get up, get up, … no turning back…..get up. Can‘t say nothing else, we were pulling away at the end.”

The win was the third of the day for Krigger, who despite arriving at GGF a month into the meet, is tied for fourth in the jockey standings and only eight wins out of second place with 25 racing days left.

Russell Baze, who was aboard the ever popular Bold Chieftain, finished fourth, and with a little luck, could have had a better fate.

“He ran good,” Baze said. “ We lacked a little racing room the second turn there, we had to wait for the horse that ran second to go past us. When I got him out he gave me a little bit of a punch then flattened out late. He’ll get a lot out of that race, he’ll be tough next time.”

A couple other ones to watch next time could be Gallant Son and Baton Roo.

Gallant Son, trained by Frank Lucarelli made a nice run to get second in he race and the Andy Mathis trained Baton Roo, ran well behind early and rallied to finish a good fifth.

Oh and for you bettors out there. The winning combination of the top trainer and hottest jockey on a horse that had been on the board in nine straight races, netted $40.40 on a $2 win bet.


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Older Comments about Krigger and Our Nautique Score in the San Francisco Mile...

Thanks Brian, soemtimes they make US look good ha
Great video, Don! Almost as good as being there. You've been talking about Krigger all meet ... good call!

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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.

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