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Gerhard Kruger, 92, dies
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - by John Berry

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Pompano Beach, FL --- Word from overseas comes that Gerhard Kruger, 92, has recently passed away.

Mr. Kruger, a native of Berlin, Germany, won more than 4,000 races as a driver and had quite a bit of success here in the United States with trotters Ozo, and the giant French bred New Hat.

Ozo captured the Transoceanic Trot in New York in 1962 and New Hat was a prominent performer at Roosevelt Raceway and Hollywood Park, where he took his mark of 1:59.2 for Mr. Kruger in 1963.

Overseas, Mr. Kruger won several major races with Elaine Rodney, Spice Island, Dashing Rodney, Top Hanover, Cheer Honey and a host of others during his star-studded career measuring five decades.

He began his career as an apprentice in 1939 at the age of 14 and won his first race on July 6, 1940, age 15, back of Berta Margritt, a 58-1 “outsider.”

His career was interrupted when he was drafted into the war and, overcoming “physical losses,” he returned to his homeland tracks in Berlin in 1949 and captured the first of his many driving titles with 114 wins.

In 1961, when the “wall” went up dividing East and West Germany, Mr. Kruger moved his base of operation to Paris, before coming to the United States to ply his trade.

Competing in Italy in 1966, Mr. Kruger appeared in 136 races, winning 68 of those with the American bred Cheer Honey leading the brigade of winners.

Respected as the consummate horseman throughout Europe, Mr. Kruger also won significant events in Sweden, Austria, France, Denmark and Italy.

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