Female Jockey Aims for History at Derby
Rosie Napravnik is sixth woman to ride in Kentucky Derby
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2011 12:22 PM CDT
Kentucky Derby hopeful Pants On Fire, ridden by jockey Rosie Napravnik, is exercised on the Churchill Downs track May 1.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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(Newser) – New Jersey native Rosie Napravnik hopes to make a little history today by becoming the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. She heads into the day with 20-1 odds aboard Pants on Fire, reports the Star-Ledger in a profile. Napravnik, 23, will be the sixth woman to ride in the Derby, and she's got a solid track record behind her—first-, second-, or third-place finishes in 52% of her 445 starts.

It helps that she grew up on a horse farm. “As soon as she could hold her head up, she probably sat on a horse," her mom, Cindy, tells the newspaper. Napravnik began racing at age 7 and steadily moved up the ranks while juggling school classes. “I was so overworked and tired and you know what, it didn’t even bother me,” she says. “It was exactly what I wanted to be doing.” Click to read about another horse you can root for today.