Jockey Rosie Napravnik
maintained her 12-win lead in Fair Grounds’ current jockey standings
entering Friday’s 45th day of racing despite missing three race days
earlier this week.
The 23-year-old native of
N.J., won last Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes aboard Brereton Jones’
Believe You Can for trainer Larry Jones. However, she cancelled off all her mounts Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday at Fair Grounds to allow herself time to recover from
two sore legs suffered in a pre-race starting gate mishap earlier this month before returning to riding Friday.
who became the first female jockey to win a riding title at Fair
Grounds last season, added to those laurels by capturing the
Derby astride George and Lori Hall’s
Pants On Fire. She entered Friday’s race day with 58 wins from 274 mounts and had accumulated purse earning of $1,680,202.
James Graham, who won the riding title at
Park last summer, entered Friday’s program as runner-up in the
New Orleans oval’s standings with 46 wins. In third position was Peruvian-born
Miguel Mena with 40 trips to the winner’s circle at the current local session including two winners Thursday afternoon.
HUSBAND-WIFE TEAM SERVING AS KEEN OBSERVERS OF LOCAL EQUINE WELFARE
Guests of Fair Grounds Thursday who stayed for the
entire program may have noticed a dapper individual in a black cowboy
hat who ran across the track to try and catch an errant horse that lost
its rider following the last race of the day.
That individual was Fair Grounds-based trainer
Dallas Keen, and although
the loose horse was not one of his, the incident served as a small
sampling of the care and concern that the vast majority of horse people
give to all members of the equine breed.
Donna Keen, wife of Dallas and co-founder along with her husband of
Remember Me Rescue in
Burleson, Texas, has also had her hands full this week after rescuing six more extremely malnourished horses seized from a farm in northwestern
earlier this month. Remember Me Rescue was officially founded in 2008
as a non profit organization to rehabilitate and retrain ex-racehorses
with the hopes of finding them new homes.
due to the deplorable conditions of the animals rescued from that farm
in Sabine Parish, whose owner has been charged with animal cruelty,
organizations like the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and Remember Me have stepped up to the plate.
It’s no easy commute between
New Orleans and suburban Fort Worth,
but with a string of Thoroughbreds in training at Fair Grounds and
another 18 rescues at Remember Me (their normal limit is 10)
the Keens have kept on keeping on.
all had a lot of problems to face these last few days,” said Donna Keen
this week, “but at times like this, we all have to suck it up
and do what we got to do. What is really encouraging to see is some of
the donations we’ve gotten from our fellow trainers here and around the
country. Guys like
Graham Motion (trainer of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner
Animal Kingdom) sent us a donation, but so did local trainers like
Danny Pish, Michelle Lovell and
Fair Grounds also kicked in a $2,500 gift to Remember Me and Louisiana Horse Rescue to help relocate the neglected horses.
called in some local 4-H Clubs to our farm so they can bring in their
members and teach them how to care for injured Thoroughbreds,”
said Keen. “We’re trying to make something good out of a very bad
The latest arrivals earlier this week at Remember Me include
Be Bop Baby, an extremely thin 15-year-old mare who was too weak to travel when originally rescued.
“Now, she is here with us, safe, dry and no longer hungry,” advised Keen. “High On Punch
Monday. He is severely underweight but seems sound. He has a very sweet
disposition and for now is quiet and content with all the attention he
is getting from everyone here.”
The poster child for Remember Me Rescue is former Texas Horse of the Year
Lights On Broadway, a former stakes winner of a
half-million dollars who fell down through the cracks of the claiming
ranks before arriving at Remember Me a couple of years ago.
he’s become a bridle-less riding horse for me,” said Keen. “I ride him
around the farm and sit on his back while I change the light bulbs
in the barn.”
To make an online donation to Remember Me Rescue and the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association, visit FairGroundsRaceCourse.com/Shop.