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Breeders Cup 2015

Karlsson Puts Riding Career On Hold

Jockey Inez Karlsson, who became a mother for the first time last July, has decided to put her jockey career on hold – at least for Arlington’s 2012 season – to pursue the more ethereal rewards of motherhood.


“What they always say is true, your life completely changes when you become a mother,” Karlsson said, speaking outside Arlington’s paddock last weekend while wielding a baby carriage occupied by her daughter Sophia Rose Calcagno.  “But,” she added quickly, (motherhood) is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. 


“I look at my baby and I feel love,” Karlsson said.  “I don’t know how else to describe it.  It’s a feeling like nothing I’ve ever felt before.”


Already established as Arlington’s all-time leading female rider, Karlsson was at the peak of her career as a jockey when advised that her biological clock was running faster than normal.  For her, the decision to pursue the more immediate life goal was a no brainer.  Now, with her residence far closer to Hawthorne than Arlington, a summer campaign at Chicago’s northwest suburban oval simply wasn’t practical.


“Where I’m living now, it’s just too far away from Arlington for me to be riding here right now,” Karlsson said.  “With the long hours I would have to be here to do my job right, the only option I would have would be to hire a nanny for the baby.  I thought about it, but I quickly decided that I didn’t want to do that.


“I don’t want to do something like that and then look back and say, ‘I missed her doing this, or I wasn’t there when she did that for the first time,’” Karlsson said.  “She’s only going to be this age once in her life, and I want to be there to enjoy all of it.”


Asked to describe her daughter, Karlsson said, “She’s very athletic and she’s very strong like her father (Anthony Calcagno).  He was a football player and a wrestler, and I couldn’t be doing all this without his constant help.  He’s been like a ‘Mr. Mom’ around the house.


“She’ll be an athlete, but she won’t be a jock,” said Karlsson of her daughter.  “She’s already too long, and she’s going to be too big.  But I would like her to grow up and enjoy riding.  I want her to enjoy being around horses all her life.


“As for me, I may try to start riding again at the end of the summer and possibly try to come back at Hawthorne in the fall,” Karlsson said.  “Who knows how I’ll feel by then?  Maybe I’ll start riding again then – or maybe I won’t.  I’m always one to live for the moment, anyway.” 




Jockey Brandon Meier suffered a broken collarbone when his mount High Brow Honey, owned by Mark Meyer and trained by Jeffrey Lynn, fell at the top of the stretch in the 11th race at Arlington Saturday.


Meier advised Arlington’s publicity department Sunday morning that he would be visiting his father’s (former jockey Randy Meier) specialist on Monday for a further evaluation.





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