Girls in the stretch MARYLANDERS may remember a...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

May 06, 2000

Girls in the stretch

MARYLANDERS may remember a teen-age Julie Krone riding to some of her earliest victories at Pimlico in the 1980s, honing her gift for "getting a horse to do something easy." The retired jockey will get her due when she becomes the first female inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in August.

Ms. Krone, all of 4 feet 10.5 inches and maybe 100 pounds, was no lightweight in contest. She thundered into the inside with determination and became the most successful female jockey in history, winning 3,543 races. She was the first woman to win a riding title at a major track, in 1987 at Monmouth Park; the first to ride in a Breeder's Cup race in 1988; and the first to win a Triple Crown race, in 1993 at the Belmont Stakes.

But don't dwell on that girl-in-a-man's world stuff. She hated that, said as much and acted accordingly. When a rival jockey lashed her with his whip during a race at Monmouth Park in 1986, she dismounted at the finish and decked him.

Ms. Krone, 36, retired last year, with a string of victories, as well as scars to body and confidence: a back broken, wrists fractured, an ankle shattered and a nearly fatal hoof-to-the-chest injury.

Julie Krone will be at Churchill Downs today, covering the Kentucky Derby for racing network TVG. The air will once again crackle with milestone-making anticipation, as Jenine Sahadi seeks to become the first woman to train a Derby winner.

Parading poor judgment

MICHAEL J. Wagner says he's not trying to exploit the Ray Lewis limousine by including the vehicle in tomorrow's Ferndale Day 2000 community parade.

Who does Mr. Wagner thinks he's kidding? The former state senator and parade organizer has only one reason for wanting to roll the onetime bullet-pocked Lincoln Navigator down Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard: morbid curiosity. Parade organizers didn't even wait until after Mr. Lewis' murder trial in the deaths of two men in Atlanta.

Good thing Dundalk isn't planning to roll out the Joseph Palczynski sofa.

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