Female Jockey Riding for History at Kentucky Derby

Rosie Napravnik aims to become first woman to win

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 3, 2014 1:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – She started out her career disguising her gender, riding under the initials AR Napravnik. In the male-dominated world of horse racing, Anna Rose Napravnik figured she'd have better luck if nobody noticed a woman's name in the track program. Nine years later, Rosie Napravnik is one of the rising stars in the sport, having long ago discarded her ruse. Now the 26-year-old from New Jersey will try to make history today and become the first woman to ride a Kentucky Derby winner.

She's facing a built-in challenge on her third try, however: Her horse, Vicar's In Trouble, drew the dreaded No. 1 spot in the starting gate. With 19 horses on his outside fighting to move inside to save ground, he and Napravnik will be under the gun when the gate springs open. "He gets out of that gate fast every single time," says Napravnik. "If I have to ride somebody out of there, I'm glad it's him." They were 22-1 long shots as of this afternoon, with California Chrome the heavy favorite at 2-1, notes the Star-Ledger. Race time is 6:32pm Eastern.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik answers questions at Churchill Downs May 1 in Louisville, Ky.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik answers questions at Churchill Downs May 1 in Louisville, Ky.   (Garry Jones)
Jockey Rosie Napravnik, right, works Kentucky Derby hopeful Vicar's in Trouble with a stablemate at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, April 26, 2014.
Jockey Rosie Napravnik, right, works Kentucky Derby hopeful Vicar's in Trouble with a stablemate at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, April 26, 2014.   (Garry Jones)
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