riding sensation Rosie Napravnik returns Saturday to Santa Anita, the
scene of one of her greatest triumphs, where she rode Shanghai Bobby to
victory in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for Todd Pletcher last
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire - Alex Evers
Saturday, Napravnik rides Joyful Victory for trainer Larry Jones in the
Zenyatta Stakes, one of five scheduled mounts that day.
Joyful Victory was second under Napravnik in the Grade I Zenyatta last
September at Santa Anita. Napravnik returned March 16 to win the Grade I
Santa Margarita Invitational on Joyful Victory by four lengths.
“Rosie is a special rider,” Jones said following the Santa Margarita
win. “It’s a gift from God, what she’s got. She doesn’t realize it yet,
but she’s been anointed with talent. She is one of the brightest stars
in the game, I can assure you.”
PACO GONZALEZ: TO TRAIN OR NOT TO TRAIN, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Paco Gonzalez is in no hurry to retire, or un-retire, for that matter.
The 67-year-old former force on the Southern California training circuit
hasn’t saddled a horse in earnest in more than a year, since July 15,
2012, so it’s been written that he has retired, or not, ever since.
“I love horses and I’ve been around them all my life, but I’m not ready
to come back,” Gonzalez said during a visit to Clockers’ Corner last
Friday. “But I wouldn’t say that I’ve ‘officially’ retired, either. You
never can tell.”
Meantime, Paco has been spending time with family and friends in his native Mexico.
He trained privately for John Toffan and the late Trudy McCaffery more
than 10 years ago, winning the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita
Handicap with Free House and many other stakes with the likes of Bien
Bien, Came Home, Del Mar Dennis and Pacific Squall.