Women’s Day at The Derby

Napravnik.jpgBy Saniya Ghanoui — 05/07/11
Rosie was the Riveter of this Derby.
Rosie Napravnik has become the first woman to finish in the top ten in a Kentucky Derby. She is also only the sixth female jockey to compete in the race. Napravnik had hopes to make it to the winner’s circle with her horse, Pants on Fire. She had been running in the top four until she neared the finish line. Then she came in ninth.
Napravnik has honored the women who raced before her. She said women like P.J. Cooksey who raced in the Derby in 1984 have opened the doors for women jockeys. Earlier this year Napravnik became the first woman to win the Louisiana Derby, also with Pants on Fire.
At the Kentucky Derby, other women were working behind the scene. Trainer Kathy Ritvo’s horse, Mucho Macho Man, finished third. The only other female trainer to finish higher was Shelley Riley who finished second with Casual Lies in 1992.
Three years ago, Ritvo had a heart transplant. Before the race she said she was feeling great, saying her surgery was on the thirteenth and her post-position was number thirteen, her lucky number.
Stay tuned to WEBN’s special presentation “The Derby Experience” to hear Cooksey and Napravnik weigh in about women in racing.