04/05/2014 10:11AM

Woodbine: Sutherland-Kruse to join riding colony

Benoit & Associates
Jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse plans to be ready for opening day at Woodbine on April 12.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse is relocating to Canada for the start of the Woodbine season on April 12, she said Friday.

Sutherland-Kruse, best known in California for winning the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap on Game On Dude, plans to ride at Santa Anita through Sunday. She will travel to Woodbine on Monday and begin working horses at the suburban Toronto track on Tuesday in advance of the race meeting.

“I’ll be ready for opening day,” she said. “An opportunity came up, and my husband is supportive. We’ll be commuting a bit, maybe him more than me.”

Sutherland-Kruse is married to Southern Californian Dan Kruse.

The 38-year-old Sutherland-Kruse is a native of Canada. She began her career in Canada and won the Sovereign Award as that nation’s outstanding apprentice jockey in 2001 and 2002. She was one of the leading riders at Woodbine from 2007-10, recording a personal-best $8.78 million in earnings in 2010.

Sutherland-Kruse rode at Santa Anita in the winter during those years and moved to the Southern California circuit full time in 2011.

Game On Dude is the most prominent horse whom Sutherland-Kruse has ridden. Aside from the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap, she rode Game On Dude to a win in the 2012 Hollywood Gold Cup and a second in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic. In the autumn of 2012, Sutherland-Kruse announced her retirement shortly after being removed from Game On Dude by trainer Bob Baffert. She returned to riding last June.

Sutherland-Kruse said at the time that she missed race riding. While she resumed riding in California, Sutherland-Kruse had difficulty attracting widespread support. Through Friday, she had 4 wins in 40 mounts at the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

“I traveled a bit, and I think my business dipped,” she said of her 2014 results. “I want to ride and do well.”