The colt had arrived at 1:30 in the morning, a few hours later than planned, on a van from New York, where he had flown earlier in the day from Louisville. Two of trainer
That was all planned. Krigger's presence came as a surprise. For a jockey with a hot hand -- and serious national media coverage over the last couple of weeks -- to step away from competing is highly unusual.
"I just pray to God that the trainers in California won't be too pissed at me," Krigger said.
The 29-year-old native of the Virgin Islands was asked by O'Neill to go to Baltimore and ride Goldencents into the race, instead of having an exercise rider do that work.
Krigger -- whose ride on Goldencents in the Derby has been criticized, but not by O'Neill's camp -- says he hasn't lost "a drip of confidence" in the
O'Neill swept into Baltimore with the Derby winner,
"His energy level is high, he ate everything up," Sisterson said. "We'll just get him back on his routine. The Derby just wasn't his race. We think he'll come back."
Krigger had Goldencents near the lead of a Derby that most thought lacked high-end speed. The new point system used to determine Derby starters eliminated true sprinters from running, but Palace Malice, under another California rider, Mike Smith, set a fast pace that would eventually allow late-running
No horse retreated as quickly as Goldencents, as Krigger appeared to pull the colt up when he realized the races was out of reach.
"I said last week, whenever people say there's not much speed, it always turns out you have jockeys or trainers who think differently and go to the lead," Krigger said.
O'Neill will arrive from his California base on Sunday.