Rosie Napravnik made a
triumphant return to the state where she kicked off her career seven
years ago, winning the second edition of the $31,000 Female Jockey
Challenge on Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
24, won two of the four Challenge races and claimed the $10,000 top
prize with a total of 34 points, 16 more than runner-up and event
newcomer Tammy Piermarini. Rosemary Homeister and Maryland-based Forest
Boyce tied for third with 12 points apiece.
separate wagering on the four-race Challenge, Napravnik paid $6.20 for
the win on a $2 bet. The Napravnik-Piermarini exacta was worth $49.20.
haven’t had much luck in these challenges, but I guess it all changed
today,” said Napravnik, who leads all female riders in the United States
with 93 wins and $4.6 million in purses in 2012. “We had a great run. I
had a couple of price horses that came in and ran well, so it’s great.
I’m really glad to come back on my home turf and represent a little
in conjunction with the Lady Legends for the Cure III, a pari-mutuel
race featuring eight retired female riders, the Challenge was part of
The People’s Pink Party, a joint effort between Pimlico and Susan G.
Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, to help raise
money and awareness in the fight against the disease.
points were awarded for finishing first among Challenge participants,
six for second, four for third and three for fourth in the second,
third, fifth and seventh races. Riders whose mounts were scratched were
represented by the post-time race favorite.
out the finishers were defending champion Emma-Jayne Wilson, who was
fifth with 11 points; newcomer Greta Kuntzweiler (10 points) and Vicky
in the 2011 Challenge, Napravnik kicked off the competition with a
one-length victory on Silver Tie Affair ($9.40) in the second race. She
also won the fifth with Share Out, a 22-to-1 long shot trained by Todd
Wyatt that paid $46.60.
ran a great race,” Napravnik said. “The way he moved forward on the
turf, even though he didn’t run a huge number, I thought with the time
off he could move forward even more, so I had confidence. I know Todd
Wyatt from a while back, so I had confidence in him, too. The horse ran a
was also the first Challenge participant to cross the wire in the third
race, but earned six second-place points after Piermarini’s mount, My
Lucky Shoes, was scratched. Represented by the post-time favorite,
Piermarini was awarded the win when Smoldering Beauty, sent off at
even-money in the field of 10, won the race.
into the final Challenge race, Napravnik held a 30-18 lead over
Piermarini. She clinched the title by being the third Challenge
participant across the line in the seventh, aboard Great Motion, good
for four points, and Piermarini finished off the board.
nice to come out here, just run good, get around here good and see the
nice, big crowd,” Piermarini said. A 45-year-old mother of three based
at Suffolk Downs in Boston, Piermarini is one of five female riders with
2,000 career wins.
came back to Maryland back in ’87 lasted a little while, and then I
went back home. Everybody has been very nice and accommodating, and it’s
been a great experience. This is probably one of the best challenges
I’ve been to so far, and I’ve been to a lot of girls’ challenges. They
are very warm and welcoming, and the girls have been great.”
won her first race aboard Ringofdiamonds on June 9, 2005 at Pimlico.
Earlier this month, she became the first woman to win both the Grade 1
Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont
Park, and is the first female to win riding titles at Fair Grounds and
just rode the races like any other race. This is the elite group so it
feels great to win the challenge,” Napravnik said. “I enjoy riding in
Maryland altogether. I love coming here, because everybody’s friends of
mine and they all root for me. To win a challenge here is great.”
earned $7,000 for finishing second, followed by Boyce ($5,000),
Homeister ($5,000), Wilson ($2,000), Kuntzweiler ($1,000) and Baze
Challenge brought together seven riders who have won a combined 9,750
races and $175,030,658 in purses in the United States and Canada.
Homeister (2,497), Piermarini (2,105) and Baze (2,092) are three of only
five women to top 2,000 career wins.
to eight riders this year, the Challenge was without Abby Fuller, who
was forced to drop out following the death of her father, owner-breeder
Peter Fuller, on May 14.