the 2014 Kentucky Oaks there was only one thing that came to mind; Rosie’s done
it again. With regard to Untapable’s trainer Steve Asmussen, and the
investigation that ensued after PETA recorded and submitted a video of his
assistant, Scott Blasi, there was a mixed reaction following the Oaks.
regardless of which side of the fence you were on, everyone was standing up in
support of Rosie Napravnik. It was her second win in the Kentucky Oaks in just
three years. In 2012, Rosie teamed up with trainer Larry Jones and a beautiful
filly that had a perfect name for the occasion. Believe You Can. And we all
know what Rosie did, as she became the first female jockey to ever win the
was different in 2014 is that she had to answer a very different post race
question; can you win tomorrow?
Napravnik did not have a mount in the 2012 Kentucky Derby which in a lot of respects was a little bit surprising. In 2011, she rode Pants on Fire and finished 9th, the best Kentucky Derby finish by a female jockey at the time. But, Rosie wasn’t fazed by missing out on a ride in 2012 following her marvelous score in the Kentucky Oaks. Instead, she stuck with what works and kept getting better.
2013, she returned to the feature race on the first Saturday in May and rode
gamely through the mud. While her dreams of becoming the first female to ever
win the Kentucky Derby didn’t happen she still managed to break her own record
when Mylute finished 5th. A horse she came back to ride to a third place finish in the Preakness.
she finish better in 2014 or could she win? She had the momentum of a Kentucky
Oaks win in her back pocket but she also got dealt a hand that no jockey,
trainer, owner or fan ever wants to see in the Kentucky Derby; the inside post.
Vicar’s in Trouble was up against a sizeable task anyway so if a female jockey
was ever going to win the Kentucky Derby it would not have been aboard this
colt in 2014.
what about her chances of becoming the first female to win the Preakness
Stakes. Here is a where I think she has a great opportunity to shatter another
returns to Pimilico, the same track where she obtained her jockey’s license in
2005. Hence, it’s also the familiar place where she scored her very first win.
With respect to who gave her a leg up on the winner, Ringofdiamonds, Rosie will
be riding this weekend with a pay it forward type of mentality. On April 4th
trainer Richard “Dickie” Small passed away.
be a void at Pimlico,” said Napravnik. “When I ride in big races and do well,
he’s one of the first people I think of. I know how proud of me he would be.”
State of Maryland will be awfully proud as well. The beginning of female jockey’s
in thoroughbred racing on major tracks where betting was legal began here. In 1968, the Maryland Racing Commission obeyed a court order, and after
several attempts Kathy Kusner was finally awarded a license. Although the 1972
Olympic silver medalist gained worldwide success as an equestrian her efforts
and triumph in Maryland will always outweigh the accomplishments of her first
sport. She was the first therefore every female jockey that has rode to victory since keeps her legacy right where it belongs.
so here are, back in Maryland with a chance at seeing history unfold in the 2014 Preakness Stakes. But this
is not the only time that a female jockey has attempted to become the first
winner of the Preakness Stakes. Well yeah, but my question is whether or not Bayern is the horse that will take Rosie there.
Baffert is not in unfamiliar territory. Looking back you can’t forget the respect
he had for another female rider when she was in the irons of his most successful
colt in recent years.
was like when Chantal Sutherland was riding Game on Dude” Baffert said. “I got
so much joy out of winning a big race that had never been done before with a
female rider. It brought an extra flair to it.”
great about this team is that Rosie
knows Bob, she knows what Bob is looking for and he knows what he’s got in the saddle.
As an example did anyone else see Midnight Lucky romp home in the G1 Humana
Distaff on derby day at Churchill Downs? Snap shot of this filly by Midnight
Lute: 3 Graded Stakes starts, 2 wins. I mention that because Rosie was aboard
for both scores.
what about Bayern? Unraced as a Juvenile we could never tell in the weeks leading
up to the Kentucky Derby if Bob was going to enter him or if he would even
qualify. The decision was finally made and the Derby Trial Stakes was it.
It was her first time up and although Bayern got a little bit loose in the stretch I wasn’t too disappointed with the DQ that resulted in a 2nd place finish. When Bayern got on the lead in previous races Baffert had concerns with the how his colt responded to racing out front. In the Derby Trial I didn’t see a horse that lost interest.
I saw a young, inexperienced colt take a big step forward. So, maybe Bayern has
matured and he will be prepared to hold on to a lead versus more seasoned
3-yr-olds hunting him down in the stretch. This test will tell his connections
just how good he is, how much distance he can carry, and where he will go next.
But, until the Preakness Stakes is run, I cannot discount his chances of
becoming a Triple Crown spoiler.
the saddle is the reigning and four time leading rider at the Fair Grounds.
Rosie has also already become the all time national earnings record holder for
female jockeys in a single year. I point this out because passing the
accomplishment set by Julie Krone is not an easy thing to do. So, there is no
doubt in my mind that Rosie Napravnik has better days and victories ahead of
her. Will it begin on Saturday? The chrome will be tough to tarnish but the
jersey girl is pretty tough herself.
there is one last thing about Rosie Napravnik that I should also mention. In
case you have failed to see it, turn to twitter and try this popular hash tag:
time the hash tag is either retweeted or tweeted a $1 donation by Wild Turkey will
be made to Old Friends Farm, a safe and dignified retirement to pensioned
thoroughbreds - Very creative and a very nice and easy way to increase the donation