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
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
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.”
BRANDON MEIER SUFFERS BROKEN COLLARBONE IN SATURDAY
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
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.