The 2005 leading rider, Kevin Krigger, returned to Emerald Downs June 5, after a three year absence from the Auburn oval.
“This is one of my favorite places to ride,” Krigger said. “I missed riding here, and I know that I have been missed.”
The 27-year-old jockey said he had been tending to business in his hometown of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. He has ridden sparingly the last three years and has been sidelined since a short stint at Indiana Downs in the summer of 2009. Now, Krigger looks to recapture some of his previous success in this, his sixth season at Emerald Downs. His best year came in 2005, when he rode 126 winners and accumulated a then track record $1,384,346 in purse earnings.
In his first weekend, Krigger has already found the winner’s circle aboard Dress Code ($10.20) for trainer Steve Bullock in Sunday’s seventh race.
“I bought my time and when I came around the turn, he just exploded.” Krigger said of Dress Code. “There are a lot of trainers I could say this for, but it was really nice to win my first race with Steve Bullock.”
Krigger’s agent, Daniel McCanna, is the son of Boone McCanna, the leading jockeys’ agent at Emerald Downs and currently books rides for Ricky Frazier, Seth Martinez and newcomer Inoel Beato. Daniel’s uncle, Tim McCanna, is the perennial leading trainer at Emerald Downs.
Krigger said that he plans to stay at Emerald Downs for the remainder of the season and will make an effort to return each year.
Track announcer featured in new book
They Call the Horses, a brand new book which looks at the unique job of announcing live Thoroughbred races, feature a chapter on Emerald Downs’ own Robert Geller, who has called the races here since the track opened in 1996.
Written by Edie Dickinson with a foreword by Michael Blowen, They Call the Horses features the 11 highest profile announcers in America: Geller, Kurt Becker, Larry Collmus, Trevor Denman, John Dooley, Tom Durkin, Dave Johnson, Dave Rodman, Terry Wallace, Michael Wrona and the late Luke Kruytbosch.
Geller, interviewed by Dickinson in 2008, said he was “thrilled” to be included in the book, and was very willing to go in-depth with the author. From his birth in 1959 in Birmingham, England, to his formative days in Australia, to a high-profile announcing gig in Hong Kong, and finally to his enjoyable stint at Emerald Downs in Seattle and Sunland Park in New Mexico, Geller bares his soul to Dickinson. The result is a fascinating read with several nuggets, and you even get to read what Robert thinks about the future of horse racing.
Said Geller: “…Let’s just say I work for two independents. I’m one of the last people to do that. (Emerald Downs President) Mr. Ron Crockett, independent. Stan Fulton, who runs Sunland, independent. All I can say is that independence is a good thing because it’s unique to its region. It’s fueled by passion.”
They Call the Horses is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and via the publisher’s website at mcfarlandpub.com.
News and Notes
Week 9 honors: Jockey-Inoel Beato (3 wins); Trainer-Jim Penney (3 wins, Sis’s Sis wins Irish Day Handicap); Owner-Savario Farm (2 wins); Groom-Luis Lopez Garcia (Robert Meeking)… Auburn Handicap runner-up Saratoga Boot is among six 3-year-olds entered in Sunday’s $18,000 allowance feature at 6 ½ furlongs…Also Sunday, Bijou Barrister attempts to stretch his winning streak to seven in the sixth race, which is a $10,000 claiming event at one mile for older horses…Clair Annette drew the No. 1 posy-position in Saturday’s $50,000 Senate Appointee Stakes for fillies and mares at Hastings Racecourse. Kevin Krigger has the mount at 117 lbs. Unbeaten Concert Music (4-for-4) will be favored in the 6 ½-furlong Senate Appointee…Trainer Frank Lucarelli said Marvin’s Magic, impressive winner of a maiden special weight for 2-year-old colts and geldings, is being shipped to Southern California for the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (GIII) on Monday, July 5. Lucarelli also said Gallant Son remains under consideration for the $250,000 Longacres Mile (GIII) on Sunday, Aug. 22…Noosa Beach (:58 2/5) and Winning Machine (:58 1/5) appear to be holding their form as the 4-year-olds both smoked in five-furlong drills Wednesday for trainer Doris Harwood. The one-two finishers in the Seattle Handicap are expected to run in the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap on Sunday, June 20. Nominations for the one-mile Budweiser close at 5 p.m. Saturday…Defending Budweiser champion Assessment breezed six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 on Thursday, June 3.