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Krigger returns to defend title at Emerald Downs

April 20, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo
April 19, Auburn, WA - Riding winners has become a habit with Kevin Krigger. The 22-year-old native of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, returns this year for his third season at Emerald Downs after claiming the leading jockey title at last year's meet. It was the first riding title of his career.

Krigger learned his craft in his native Virgin Islands under the tutelage of trainer Manley Acoy before moving to the United States in 2001 to ride regularly at Thistledown in Ohio along with fellow countryman Julio Felix. Krigger registered his first winner in the United States when he guided Be Nussing to victory at Thistledown on August 31, 2001, at the age of 17.

The 2005 season was Krigger's first full meet at the Auburn oval, and he didn't wait long to make a big impact. He visited the winner's circle 126 times while winning races at an 18 percent clip. He also set a track record in earnings as his mounts amassed $1,385,173. Krigger scored a pair of stakes wins in 2005, guiding Gin's Majesty to victory in the Kent Handicap and taking down the Independence Day Handicap with Poker Brad.

The 2006 meet at Emerald Downs will showcase the leading jockeys from each of the last seven seasons at the Auburn oval. In addition to Krigger, previous champions Gallyn Mitchell, Ben Russell, Kevin Radke, and Ricky Frazier are all named on horses for opening night, and each is expected to ride locally through the end of the meet.