pride and purses will be on the line for eight male and female riders
in the inaugural $34,000 Xpressbet Jockey Challenge on Friday at Pimlico
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club
winners Javier Castellano, Rosie Napravnik and Emma-Jayne Wilson join
locally based riders Kristina McManigell and Forest Boyce and are among
the participants in Pimlico’s first riding competition to combine some
of the country’s top male and female jockeys in head-to-head
card is highlighted by seven stakes, including the $500,000 Black-Eyed
Susan (G3) for 3-year-old fillies and the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3)
for older horses; as well as the Lady Legends for the Cure IV, sponsored
by Wells Fargo. A pari-mutuel event with eight retired female riding
pioneers, the race is run as part of a joint effort between Pimlico and
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer
the challenge format, riders will earn points for finishing first (12
points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in four designated races:
the second, third, fifth and seventh. The jockey with the most points at
the end of the competition will be crowned champion and take home top
prize of $12,000. Other prize money is $8,000 for second, $6,000 for
third, $4,000 for fourth and $1,000 for fifth through eighth.
‘Battle of the Sexes’ winner is determined by which team, male or
female, has the higher point total overall for all riders in the
is the fifth year for a jockey challenge at Pimlico on the Preakness
eve card. Kent Desormeaux beat three others, including Castellano, to
win in 2009, but Castellano edged Desormeaux in an eight-rider group for
the 2010 title.
to an all-female format in 2011, the challenge was won in 2011 by
Wilson, who donated her $10,000 winner’s share to the Komen foundation,
and in 2012 by local favorite Napravnik.
Xpressbet Jockey Challenge brings together a group that has won more
than 23,000 career races and over $1 billion in purse earnings,
including 14 Triple Crown races, five Eclipse Awards and two Sovereign
Awards for riding success.
so excited, so excited, to ride with people I’ve always looked up to,”
said McManigell, 24. “Now, I’m riding with them. It’s going to be a
great experience. I’m very honored.”
graduate of Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron’s North American Racing
Academy in Lexington, Ky., McManigell is in her first year riding
full-time in Maryland. She has eight wins from 76 mounts at the current
Pimlico meet, which began April 4 and runs through June 8.
career got into full swing in 2010, winning her first career race on
Jan. 7 at Tampa Bay Downs, where she was the leading apprentice rider,
and finishing the year with 51 victories. McManigell topped $1 million
in purses earned in both 2011 and 2012, and is more than halfway to
reaching that mark again in 2013.
Illinois native, she has also ridden at Churchill Downs, Turfway Park,
Parx Racing and Ellis Park, which is close to where she was raised in
Kentucky. In addition, she spent a summer internship exercising horses
for trainer Todd Pletcher at Saratoga Race Course.
family had nothing to do in the horse racing business,” she said. “In
high school, I worked for a gentleman who had racehorses, and I’d clean
stalls. He would run horses at Ellis Park, which is near where I grew
up. He always put the thought into my head that I should be a jockey,
and I just kind of got into it. I shipped in a couple times for a few
trainers from Philly last year, and I was always very impressed with the
attitude of the people around here, and just how everyone welcomed me
in. The racing in Maryland is great.”
will have special inspiration on Friday. Her mother, Jennifer, was
diagnosed with breast cancer last year and will be in attendance to
watch her daughter compete.
is doing really well now,” she said. “The prognosis is good and the
last check of everything is good, so thank God for that. She hasn’t seen
me ride in years live, so just to have her here is great, but to have
her here on that day and with what she’s been through this last year, it
definitely means a lot.”
McManigell admits being a bit awed by her competition, which includes many of her professional role models.
lineup – Gary Stevens, Edgar Prado – these are people I idolized,” she
said. “I remember reading Gary Stevens’ book when I was like 13 years
old. It’s pretty cool. If nothing else, I’m going to learn a lot just by
riding with them. I’m very excited.”
25, who made her mark on the Maryland circuit, ranks second overall
with 123 wins and fifth with $5,186,563 in purses in 2013, both tops
among female riders. Her fifth-place finish on Mylute was the best for
any woman rider in the Kentucky Derby, and on Saturday she will become
only the third female to compete in the Preakness, following Patti
Cooksey and Andrea Seefeldt.
32, captured the 2005 Eclipse award and Canada’s Sovereign Award in
2005 and 2006 as champion apprentice jockey, and became the first female
to win the Queen’s Plate, her country’s version of the Kentucky Derby,
28, was sixth in Maryland’s jockey standings with 58 wins last year,
after being the state’s leading rider as an apprentice in 2010,
finishing second in Eclipse Award balloting that year as top apprentice.
35, has won the Travers Stakes three times and was the regular rider
for champions Bernardini and Hall of Famer Ghostzapper. This year, he is
second overall with more than $7.3 million in purses earned and fourth
with 121 victories.
45, rose to prominence winning 24 riding titles in Maryland in the
1990s. He has one Kentucky Derby and two Belmont Stakes victories to his
credit, has won 6,636 races and nearly $245 million in purses in a
career than earned him the 2006 Eclipse Award as top rider and a spot in
racing’s Hall of Fame.
50, has won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness three times, and the
Belmont Stakes twice in a Hall of Fame career that includes the 1998
Eclipse Award as top rider, 4,906 wins and more than $222 million in
41, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. He has won the Kentucky
Derby once and Belmont Stakes twice, a pair of Eclipse Awards as
champion jockey, is closing in on 5,000 lifetime wins and has earned
more than $285 million in purses.
from both the challenge and the Lady Legends race will take part in an
autograph session on the first floor grandstand starting at 10 a.m.