Image: Benoit Photo / Associated Press
Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and trainer Doug O’Neill won the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday with Goldencents, who was ridden by Kevin Krigger.
According to LAist, Pitino “owns a small stake in the Doug O’Neill-trained Goldencents running in the $750,000 Grade I Santa Anita Derby.” Faring much better than his fourth-place finish last month, Goldencents set the pace for most of the race last weekend.
O’Neill said, “After the last race I really blamed myself,” and noted that after Goldencents’ performance last month, he spoke to jockey Krigger about strategy, and whatever was said clearly paid off.
“The errors last time were not Kevin or the horse,” he added, “I think it was more me and the human connections. This time I think we did it right.”
Krigger, a 29-year-old Virgin Island native, was given credit by O’Neill for not panicking early and being able to “just chill and save horse.”
Goldencents is a brown colt who ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48:76.
Krigger said or the race, “Right here, right now is the biggest moment of my life. It’s only going to get better – the horse, me, the team.” Krigger could become the first black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby since 1902 when Jimmy Winkfield won his second, according to Fox Sports.
Pitino owns five percent of Goldencents under his stable name of RAP Racing. Majority owners include Glenn Sorgenstin, Josh Kaplan and David Kenney.