Kevin Krigger Wins on First Mount in Two Years
O Captain Breezes for Likely Return in Peter Pan Girl Bye Continues Cajun Breeze’s Juvenile Success Green Up Wins Geared Down in Thursday Feature Friday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Kevin Krigger celebrated a victorious return to action following a two-year hiatus with a perfectly executed ride aboard Thenorthremembers ($43.40) in Thursday’s opener at Gulfstream Park.
“I thank God for this moment. I’ve been through a lot this year – my mom passing and a whole lot of things,” said Krigger, who had been living in his St. Croix, Virgin Islands homeland since winning on his last mount at Golden Gate Fields on March 29, 2020. “I’m here now and I appreciate being here.”
Krigger, who has ridden 1044 winners in the U.S., enjoyed a career highlight while riding Goldencents to victory in the 2013 Santa Anita Derby (G1) for trainer Doug O’Neill, earning his first mount in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Goldencents faded to 17th after being forwardly placed in the Derby.
In his first race back Thursday, the 38-year-old jockey showed no rust in the 1 1/16-mile $20,000 claiming race on turf, while rating Thenorthremembers off the pace before sending the Rasharn Creque-trained outsider between horses in the stretch on his way to victory by three-quarters of a length.
“I try to give a perfect ride any time I get a chance to ride. Sometimes, you get one chance. When you get that one chance, you have to capitalize on it,” said Krigger, a long-time friend of countryman Creque. “Me and Rasharn go way back. Thank God, I could come here and get the win.”
Krigger is planning to ride during the Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park, where he last rode in 2014.
O Captain Breezes for Likely Return in Peter Pan
OGMA Investments LLC, Michael Iavarone, Jules Iavarone, Marquee Bloodstock and Jack Hardin Towell Jr.’s O Captain returned to the Gulfstream Park worktab Thursday for the first time since finishing fifth in the the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) April 2.
The Gustavo Delgado-trained son of Carpe Diem was timed in 1:00.58 for five furlongs in preparation for a likely return in the $200,000 Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont May 14.
“He’s doing good. Right now, we’re looking at the Peter Pan,” assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. said Thursday.
O Captain launched his career with a victory at Gulfstream in August before finishing third in the Jan. 1 Limehouse and closing from last to finish third in the Feb. 5 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2).
Girl Bye Continues Cajun Breeze’s Juvenile Success
Girl Bye ($6.40) sprinted to an early lead and sped away to a 6 ½-length debut victory in Thursday’s Race 2, a 4 ½-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies, at Gulfstream Park. Bred and owned by Michael Yates’ Shadybrook Farm, Girl Bye continued the considerable juvenile success that her sire Cajun Breeze has achieved with his first few crops of offspring.
“He just keeps throwing runners,” said Yates, who owned and trained Cajun Breeze, a hard-knocking son of Congrats who earned just shy of $250,000.
Girl Bye shook off an early challenge from stablemate Krazykatkousin, also a daughter of Cajun Breeze, before lengthening her lead through the stretch run, completing the 4 ½-furlong distance in 52.75 seconds under Marcos Meneses.
“She’s been training really well. She hasn’t done anything wrong,” Yates said. “Every work she’s moved forward. It gives you confidence.”
Girl Bye is FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes eligible.
Juveniles will return in Friday’s Race 2, a 4 ½-furlong dash featuring one filly and six males. The filly, St. George Stable LLC’s Pachanga Loca, is by Super Saver, the sire of St. George Stable’s champion Letruska. Her dam, Pachangera, is a granddaughter of Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, a two-time champion filly (1998-1999) who earned more than $3 million. Fausto Gutierrez, who is scheduled to saddle Letruska for a title defense in Saturday’s Apple Blossom (G1) at Oaklawn, also conditions Pachanga Loca.
Heehaw Racing’s Zelensky Strong, a Peter Walder-trained son of Uncaptured, has a fairly strong pedigree as well. The Florida-bred colt is a half brother to multiple-stakes winner Jackson, who earned graded-stakes credentials by winning the 2020 World of Trouble Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3). Jackson banked more than $485,000 in purses.
Green Up Wins Geared Down in Thursday Feature
Team Valor International’s Green Up won Thursday’s Race 7 feature geared down at the finish at Gulfstream Park, overcoming early problems to win by four lengths.
The Todd Pletcher-trained 1-2 favorite broke slowly after hitting the gate but recovered to pressed the pace along the backstretch run of the mile optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies. After putting away early pacesetter Freccia d’Argento, Green Up was challenged along the rail by Peachy Weachy on the turn into the homestretch. The son of Upstart asserted his class in the stretch to win going away under Junior Alvarado.
“She run like we expected even though she was acting up in the gate. She hit the front doors twice pretty hard. After the start, all I was thinking was, ‘I hope it doesn’t take a toll at the end,’’’ Alvarado said. “She had too much class in this group today. She still won pretty easy. I didn’t ask her for much, just a little to get to the lead. She took me all the way to the wire.”
Green Up, who ran the mile in 1:37.96, was coming off a 6 ¾-length maiden victory in a March 13 six-furlong sprint while coming off a 10-month layoff since a runner-up finish in her debut at Churchill Downs.
Friday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 for Friday’s program at Gulfstream Park.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved Thursday for a second racing day after a lucky ticketholder hit the jackpot for a $220,289 payoff.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.