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Ovation: Rosie Napravnik Finishes Fifth At Churchill Downs.

05/05/2013

RosieNapravnikI love to see women working in fields that, historically, have been dominated by men.  After working for many, many years in the financial services industry, one such field, I love to watch glass ceilings break.  Women are rising to the top of many businesses, industries, sports and sportscasting.  From Danica Patrick’s career in NASCAR to Marissa Mayer serving as the CEO of Yahoo, woman ROCK.  Yesterday, a woman finished in fifth place for the first time at the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.

The only female jockey in the race, Rosie Napravnik riding Mylute, finished in fifth place, just six lengths behind the winning Orb.  The previous best finish by a female jockey in the Derby had been Napravnik’s ninth place in 2011 aboard Pants on Fire.

“It was really exciting.  I was excited to have the best finish by a female.  We really stepped it up this year.  The most exciting thing is about this horse and how well he ran today.  I had a really wide trip (after starting in the No. 6 position).  He’s very talented.  He is really for these classic distance races.  And I’m really excited. … He’s really growing into a very nice race horse.” – Rosie Napravnik, speaking of her Kentucky Derby mount, Mylute.

This was only the eighth start by a female jockey in the Derby and Napravnik now has matched Julie Krone (14th in 1992 and 11th in 1995) with two starts.

Napravnik was originally scheduled to ride Shanghai Bobby, who had been a star as a two-year-old and could have been a favorite in the Derby.  When that horse was unable to run because of a stress fracture in his hip, Napravnik switched to Mylute, who went off in the Derby at 14-1.  The top horses finished in the following order:

  1. Orb
  2. Golden Soul
  3. Revolutionary
  4. Normandy Invasion
  5. Mylute

It was an exciting race on a wet and muddy track but Napravnik’s participation was special.  I wonder if there are any little girls out there that saw her riding in the big race and thought to themselves “I want to be a jockey someday”.

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One Comment
  1. Yay for women!

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