Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ride, Rosie, Ride: Napravnik first woman Kentucky Derby jockey since 2003

 "I don't think about first female to do this, first female to do that  ... I am proud of it, but it's not something I think about all the time."   -- Rosie Napravnik  
Rosie Napravnik courtesy of Mark Cornelison/McClatchy Tribune and the Detroit Free Press

    Out of a lineup of 20 riders in today's 137th Kentucky Derby, only one is a woman.

Anna "Rosie"  Napravnik, 23, will be the first woman to ride at Churchill Downs since 2003.  She will be riding Pants on Fire, who is owned by George and Lori Hall of Rumson, New Jersey.

Although there have been other women jockeys in the Kentucky, none has won the race.

Earlier in the year, Napravnik was the first woman to win the Louisiana Derby when she rode Pants on Fire to victory at the Louisiana Derby in March.  The Halls brought her back for the "run for the roses."

Modestly, Napravnik says, "I feel very lucky just to be here."

Other women Kentucky Derby competitors courtesy of the Detroit Free Press
So, the question is  "Why not more women jockeys?" in a sport where it  seems that men and women would be evenly matched in skill and ability?

Just a thought.

The race starts at 6:24 p.m. EST on NBC.

watch Rosie Napravnik and Pants on Fire win the Louisiana Derby:

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