Krone first among female jockeys to gain Hall of Fame

Drysdale also honored, along with three horses

Kentucky Derby notebook

May 03, 2000|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Retired jockey Julie Krone will become the first female inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame during ceremonies Aug. 7 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The announcement was made yesterday at Churchill Downs, where Krone is working for the racing network TVG covering the Kentucky Derby. Others elected to the Hall of Fame were trainer Neil Drysdale, contemporary male horse A.P. Indy, contemporary female horse Winning Colors and, as "horse of yesteryear," Needles.

Krone is the only female jockey to win a Triple Crown race, the 1993 Belmont with Colonial Affair. During her 19-year career, including a brief stint in Maryland, she won 3,545 races (17 percent) from 20,470 mounts for earnings of more than $81 million. The totals for wins and earnings are records for female riders.

The announcement of Drysdale's election came four days before he will saddle his first two entrants in the Kentucky Derby, the major contender War Chant and the favorite Fusaichi Pegasus.

"I'm very honored and humbled," said Drysdale, a native of England. "I just hope history repeats itself. Mr. [D. Wayne] Lukas won the Kentucky Derby last year after standing on this same podium."

Four days after trainer Lukas earned admission into the Hall of Fame last year, his 3-year-old colt Charismatic responded with a victory in the Derby. He later won the Preakness and nearly won the Triple Crown.

In 1992, A.P. Indy brought Drysdale to the brink of the Derby. Potentially one of the favorites, the colt was scratched the day of the race because of a hoof problem. A.P. Indy won the Belmont and Breeders' Cup Classic that year and was voted Horse of the Year.

Winning Colors became the third filly to win the Derby when she fought off Forty Niner in the 1988 renewal.

Needles won 11 of 21 races in the 1950s, including the Derby and Belmont. He was named a champion after his 2- and 3-year-old seasons.

Less attention for Baffert

Bob Baffert isn't being ignored after three years as the Derby's media darling. But the crowds around his barn are definitely smaller now that he has only one entrant, Captain Steve, who is not one of the favorites.

Baffert won the Derby in 1997 with Silver Charm and again in 1998 with Real Quiet. Last year, he saddled the favorites, the coupled General Challenge and Excellent Meeting.

He said that after Captain Steve's lackluster third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby, "I told myself, `I guess I'm not going to win the Derby this year.' "

But the next morning, he said, Captain Steve "acted like he didn't run. That was a good sign, because that meant he didn't put out like he can."

So Baffert decided to bring the Fly So Free colt to Churchill Downs and see how he trained. In November, Captain Steve ran the best race of his 11-race career over this track, winning the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by nearly six lengths.

"I knew he was going to move up when I brought him here," Baffert said. "Every work has just gotten better and better and better."

Yesterday, Captain Steve breezed five furlongs in 59 25 seconds, completing his serious training. Baffert was delighted.

"He's as good now as I can get him," Baffert said. "If he gets the trip, he's got a chance, an outside chance."

Strong workout for `Deputy'

Also working yesterday was The Deputy, who completed five furlongs in 1: 00.

His rider, Chris McCarron, called it "a great move. I asked him to extend his stride the last sixteenth, and he did it readily. He's a very professional horse with lots of talent."

Steve Asmussen, trainer of Rebel Stakes winner Snuck In, withdrew his colt from Derby consideration after a five-furlong breeze in 59 seconds. Asmussen wasn't happy with the colt's aggressiveness.

"He needs to take a deep breath and relax," the trainer said. "You don't see horses in an argument early in the Derby who are there at the end."

Asmussen said he would aim Snuck In for the Preakness.

"This horse has great ability, and with time he'll learn," he said.

The Derby post-position draw will be broadcast live from 5 to 6 p.m. today on ESPN. The draw will take place at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

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