11/07/2002 12:00AM

Krone wins at Hollywood Park


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Julie Krone rode the first winner of her week-old comeback on Thursday at Hollywood Park. The victory could not have come on an easier mount.

Krone rode Jade Vixen to a comfortable six-length win against maiden claimers, scoring on a heavy favorite.

"I got a little teary-eyed when I pulled up," she said.

The win came six days into her comeback following an absence of 3 1/2 years from competitive racing. Jade Vixen was her eighth mount in the last week, and first aboard a favorite.

Krone, a member of racing Hall of Fame, is the world's winningest female rider with 3,546 victories.

There was little suspense through the seven-furlong race. Jade Vixen was close to the pace in the first quarter-mile and dueled with Larkwood on the turn. By early stretch, Krone had Jade Vixen comfortably in front. They pulled away to win easily, allowing Krone to mug for the track photographer.

"Was she dragging me around there or what?" she said about Jade Vixen. "I had a lot of confidence and it felt really good."

Krone, 39, announced a comeback in mid-October after spending the last two summers working as an exercise rider.

Despite having three mounts on California Cup Day at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, mounts have been slow at a time when entries have not been plentiful at Hollywood Park.

Jade Vixen was Krone's lone mount on Thursday. She had one ride on Wednesday and Thursday's programs and no rides on Saturday.

*Jade Vixen's win led to a sweep of the eight-race program by favorites. The highest winning mutuel of the day was Six Hitter ($6.40) in the sixth race. Even with a carryover of more than $82,000 in the pick six, the $2 bet returned a paltry $230. Consolation with five winners paid $10.60.