HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Jockey Kevin Krigger notched the first stakes victory of his ongoing comeback, guiding Running Memories to an authoritative 3 ¾-length victory in Friday’s $60,000 Bay Harbor Islands at Gulfstream Park.
Away from the races for more than two years, Krigger made a triumphant return to action for Gulfstream’s Royal Palm Meet by winning on his first mount, Thenorthremembers, April 21. The 38-year-old journeyman, 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, took his comeback to a new level Friday with his winning ride aboard the Joe Orseno-trained 4-year-old filly.
“I am thanking God right now. You know I’ve been through a lot,” Krigger said. “This has been one helluva 2022, and for me to be in this position right now, I can’t thank God enough.”
Miss Auramet, the 8-5 favorite, uncharacteristically broke slowly from the gate, and raced in fifth along the backstretch and far turn as Fulminate, Palomita and Headline Hunter waged a three-wide battle for the lead. Following fractions of 21.29 and 44.17 (seconds) for the first half mile of the five-furlong overnight handicap for fillies that was transferred from turf to Tapeta, Krigger sent Running Memories around the tiring pacemakers and drew away to a 3 ¾-length score.
“When Miss Auramet didn’t break and the other three horses inside of me showed speed, it set it up perfect for me. She just sat there and relaxed, and when I asked her to go, she kicked in,” Krigger said.
Miss Auramet recovered from her slow start to finish second, 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Headline Hunter.
Running Memories ($9.80), who defeated Miss Auramet in a May 6 overnight handicap on turf, five furlongs in a swift 56.01 seconds on the all-weather surface.
Krigger, who has ridden 1048 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.
David Joseph/Gulfstream Park
Photo of Running Memories by Lauren King