By Justine Frostad — 05/06/11
Rosie Napravnik is hoping to make history tomorrow. She would become the first female jockey to cross the finish line first in the Derby. Right now she is one of the top riders in U.S. thoroughbred racing. This year she is riding Pants On Fire in her first Kentucky Derby. Napravnik is the sixth female jockey to contend for the Derby.
But Napravnik says competing in the Run For The Roses means the same to her as her male colleagues.
“We’re all jockeys and we do the same thing so I compete against the guys everyday,” she said. “Of course if I were to win it I would be very proud for the female aspect of it but that doesn’t make it any different for me than it would for any other jockey.”
Napravnik believes she has a real shot at winning even though Pants On Fire is at 20-1 odds.
“It’s not like we’re 100 to 1,” she said, “we’re going to be there to win the race.”
Weather reports say it will likely rain at Churchill Downs. That has stirred concerns for some horses who do not run well in sloppy conditions. Napravnik is probably one of the only jockeys who will be singing in the rain.
“He [Pants On Fire] actually loves the slop so if it rains let it rain because it would be a benefit for us,” she said.