Jockey Carr Back From New York For Opening Of Golden Gate Fields Fall Meeting

Jockey Carr Back From New York For Opening Of Golden Gate Fields Fall Meeting

     New Yorker Dennis Carr, who finished second in the jockey standings at five consecutive Golden Gate Fields meetings from 1998-2000, will be back at the East Bay racetrack Thursday for opening day of the 2012 fall meeting.

    The fall season runs through Sunday, Dec. 16, and racing will be conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule.  Post time is 12:45 p.m.

     Carr has had two prior successful stays in Northern California.  

     Carr first rode in the Bay Area from 1995 to January 2002 and finished second to Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze at nine major meetings.  Carr took runner-up honors four times at Bay Meadows (1997 winter/spring, 1998 winter/spring, 1998 fall, and 1999 fall) and five times at Golden Gate Fields (1998 spring, 1998-1999 winter/spring, 1999 spring, 1999-2000 winter/spring, and 2000 spring).

      Carr also rode in the Bay Area from 2004-2007 and finished second to Baze at the 2004 fall meeting at Bay Meadows and third behind Baze and Frank Alvarado at the 2004-2005 winter meeting at Golden Gate Fields.

      Carr has spent the past several years competing primarily in upstate New York at Finger Lakes Racetrack in Farmington.  During the winter months when Finger Lakes was dark, Carr helped his wife, Alisa, build a dog boarding business at their home, which is situated on 5 1/2 acres in the Saratoga Springs area.

     Once the business, Waggs-And-Woofs, was up and running, Carr decided to start riding during the winter months again.  He spent last winter competing at Aqueduct, which entailed a tough commute from his home to the Jamaica racetrack.  

     “Last winter I rode at Aqueduct and I was flat miserable,” said Carr.  “Every day is a fight to just get where you to want to go.  In New York, they don’t use directional signals, they use middle fingers.  They cut you off and then give you the finger.”

     Carr said the bad commutes of last winter and his fondness for the Bay Area made it an easy decision to try the Northern California circuit a third time.

     “My wife and I kicked it around, and I’m ready to give it another go,” said Carr.  “Now that we have the business established, I can get away and see how it goes.  I would like it to be a permanent thing.”
      One permanent thing in Bay Area racing is the 54-year-old Baze, who won 27 races during the recent summer meeting to earn his 43rd career riding title at Golden Gate Fields.  

     “I always thought whenever I came back to Northern California, Russell would be retired, but nope, he’s still there and riding great,” said Carr, who is 43 and began his career in New York in 1986.  “If you have to run second to someone, there’s not a better guy to run second to than Russell.  When I started, I grew up with (Hall of Famers) Angel Cordero, Jorge Velasquez and Jacinto Vasquez, and I put Russell right there with them.  He’s just a great rider.”

     Carr has four mounts on Thursday’s opening-day program at Golden Gate Fields and has a good chance to start the meet on a winning note.  Carr’s mount in the first race is Deal’ Em, the 6-5 morning line favorite.