Emerald Downs News and Stable Notes
Friday, March 30, 2012
William Antongeorgi (Benoit Photography)
JOCKEY WILLIAM ANTONGEORGI III TO SHIP
NORTH FOR THE 2012 MEETING AT EMERALD DOWNS
Jockey William Antongeorgi III, who has ridden most of his six-year career in California, announced that he would head north for the 2012 season at Emerald Downs.
Having already ridden numerous horses for trainer Frank Lucarelli—last year’s champion with 53 wins—at Golden Gate, Antongeorgi said the decision was made without hesitation.
“Frank gave me a call one day and told me that if I were interested, he’d have a lot of horses for me to ride,” Antongeorgi said. “I figured it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Even as a relative newcomer to the jock’s room, Antongeorgi has found success facing some of the nation’s top riders. At the 2008-09 Golden Gate meeting, the 25-year-old Long Island native finished third to Hall-of-Fame Russell Baze with 88 wins. Watching riders, like Baze, win often has inspired Antongeorgi to want to do the same. In fact, he’s already set the bar high for himself for the 2012 Emerald Downs meeting.
“I want to be leading rider,” he said. “I wouldn’t be happy with anything less.”
Antongeorgi has shown up when the money was down. His biggest win came last year, when he rode Northern Causeway, saddled by former Emerald Downs’ trainer Len Kasmerski, to victory in the BC Derby (G III-Can) at Hastings. Stretching the local angle further, the Derby runner-up, Jebrica, captured the Emerald Downs Derby and was voted the meet’s Top 3-Year-Old Male.
“(Antongeorgi) has a lot of talent to win the title,” agent Vito Lucarelli said. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it happen.”
FELLOW HORSEMEN PAY THEIR RESPECTS TO
HALL-OF-FAME TRAINER BUD KLOKSTAD
Several Emerald Downs’ horsemen took a moment Friday to honor Bud Klokstad, one of the greatest trainers in state history, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 79. At Emerald Downs, Klokstad ranks sixth all-time with 402 wins, second with 43 stakes wins and sixth in earnings with $4,807,556.
Trainer Junior Coffey: “Whenever I saw his name in the program, I knew his horse would be tough competition. In fact, it’d probably make some trainers want to scratch. He knew horses about as well as a trainer could and more importantly, he knew how to win.”
Trainer Howard Belvoir: “He was a great 2-year-old trainer and had a super eye for young horses.”
Trainer Vince Gibson: “He’s a legend. My wife Pam groomed for him, and he always treated her very well. He was always good to me too.”
Trainer Doris Harwood: “When I broke his records, it was really special to me because I knew I had achieved something. It’s not an ego thing at all, but to be able to achieve and surpass what Bud did, made me feel accomplished. He and I also shared a passion for 2-year-olds.”
Assistant trainer Kay Cooper: “He was an asset to racing. Even while he was in California, I knew that his heart was still in Washington. He always loved Washington-breds.”
Assistant trainer Richard Wright: “I still remember when he was my agent in 1966. The very first horse he put me on to ride, won. He was a great guy, and he always believed in me. He was a great horseman, too. There was something about him that would make his horses want to run for him. His horses were always happy.”
Quarter Chute Café’s Sally Steiner: “He will be missed in the horseracing community. He was rough, tough guy, but he had his soft side, too.”
Jockey Gallyn Mitchell: “He had such an incredible eye for horses in the sale. He was such a good horseman that he could make an OK horse, great.”
Agent Keith Drebin: “He was just a great horseman. People called him ‘The King of the Two-year-olds’. Flying Notes winning the (Emerald Downs) Derby might have been the greatest performance that I have ever seen.”
NOTES: The Emerald Downs’ condition book is available on the track’s Web site and will be available in print with covers on Saturday…Jockey Mark Anderson, who finished fifth (tied) with 42 wins at the Portland Meadows meeting, will ride at Emerald Downs this season for agent Kenny Greene…Upperline, owned in-part by track Vice President Jack Hodge, is the 2-1
morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $100,000 Bayou Stakes at Fair Grounds…Jockey Kevin Krigger, EmD’s leading rider in 2005 with 143 wins, has enjoyed a fine meeting at Santa Anita. The Virgin Islands native currently ranks eighth in the jockey standings with 21 victories…Remember, the track will offer advanced wagering on the 2012 Dubai World Cup—races 2 thru 9—on Friday and will operate its normal simulcast schedule on Saturday. The Quarter Chute Café will open at 7:00 a.m. Saturday with wagering available on races 7 thru 9…Both handicap division contenders, Winning Machine and He’s All Heart trained Friday morning. Winning Machine worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 (1/3), while Vic-Tory Stables’ He’s All Heart breezed four furlongs in 48.40 (8/20).