This week's The Player's Edge guest,
Golden Gate Fields leading jockey Kyle Frey was gracious enough to spend some
time with Horse Racing Radar for a Q&A. Hopefully, horseplayers enjoy
getting to know the people who make the sport of kings the sport of kings.
HRR: When you were younger, you said you were too anxious and
too hungry to win after being suspended for careless riding. Would you say you
are still hungry to win? And how have you channeled that hunger into being the
leading money winner at Golden Gate?
Kyle Frey: Yeah... being hungry was never a bad thing but it's easy to
get carried away. Now, as a more mature rider, I know to put the horse and my
fellow riders' safety first and above all. There's a certain amount of finesse
in not crossing that fine line and still giving an honest effort to the owners
and betting public. The hunger is a natural thing for me; I ride to win,
HRR: When you were riding at Parx, you had an accident, broke
your leg and had serious complications, similar to NFL football player Alex
Smith. During your long road back, what was the source of your motivation?
Kyle Frey: I think a newfound appreciation for what I had and
realizing I could try so much harder off horse to improve myself on horse.
Things like eating right, taking vitamins, doing homework on my knee, overall
fitness, understanding it all better day to day; and always looking for the
next level of physical, mental and spiritual fitness.
HRR: Speaking of football, Tom Brady just won his 7th Super
Bowl. Before the game, he posted on his Instagram account that perfecting the
process is what drives him, and the outcome of the game is a byproduct of that
journey. In horse racing (and football) everything is measured in results and
not the process. What's your process to get ready for a day/lifetime at the
races that made you the leading money winner and the jockey with the highest
Kyle Frey: I think Mr.Brady said it best, though I'm far from
perfect. I always strive for greatness, on and off the track by balancing my
life better and knowing there isn't such a thing as a loss, just a learning
experience. If you put in the work and love what you do then good things
I always need to keep moving
forward: if I'm not trying to move forward, then I'm falling back because
there's always someone trying to get what you have and you can never
underestimate your competition. We have a strong colony at Golden Gate with a
lot of hungry riders that could take my spot anytime if I get complacent.
Success is the privilege of putting in the work, it's not a right.
HRR: In baseball, pitchers who throw no-hitters usually say
something like I knew I had "good stuff" when I was warming up. At what point
in the pre-race and/or the race itself do you know; this horse has got good
Kyle Frey: Most definitely, it's just something you can feel after
riding for so long. You recognize when your horse is 100% and it makes you feel
even more ready to throw down a great ride.
HRR: Have you had the "perfect" ride, on which horse and why
would you say it's perfect? If not, describe what you would view as the perfect
Kyle Frey: Man, that's an impossible question to answer, but I'd have
to say in 2017 when I won the El Camino Real on Zackarof. He was a long shot.
We got the perfect trip sitting behind and swung to the outside to nail the
favorite. He was a pick-up mount at the draw. It was awesome and Zakarof gave me
the race of his life.
HRR: We've noticed some horses race well on synthetic surfaces
and some seem to hate it. What surface and conditions would you say are the
best indicators that a horse might like running on an all-weather track?
Kyle Frey: Turf horses tend to make an easier transition, but a real
runner can run over anything.
HRR: One COVID question, some of the younger horses haven't
raced in front of a noisy crowd. When the fans are back, do you believe it
could be an advantage for older horses that have raced in front of a live
audience? Why or why not?
Kyle Frey: I think that more varies horse to horse, but it could
definitely affect them in the warming up and the finish.
HRR: Knowing what you know now, if you could have left a note
to yourself when you first got started, what advice would you give yourself?
Kyle Frey: To ask questions about money management and taxes. To know
it's OK to not know something and ask for help.
HRR: Finally, it's 2050 and you are reflecting on your career,
what do you need to accomplish between here and there to say yeah, hell yeah, I
had a great career?
Kyle Frey: All of my goals are probably impossible to reach but it's
the chase for greatness that I love and the constant improvement in myself that
I strive for. So, as long as I give it my all every day, I can say that's all
that truly matters to me.
Kyle thanks for your time and good
luck on and off the track. Make sure you give this week's The Player's Edge
Podcast a listen, Kyle and the crew make their picks for Golden Gate races
7-8-9 on Saturday's card, which includes the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby.
Also, make sure you follow Kyle on
his social sites at:
Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.