Rosie Napravnik has been establishing herself as one of the world’s top female jockeys in 2012, which continued Friday afternoon as the ran away with the second-annual Female Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Race Course.
The competition consisted of seven premier female riders, who earned points for finishing in the top four among challenge competitors in four different races.
Napravnik finished with 34 points, while Tammy Piermarini, the runner-up, tallied 16.
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“I haven’t had much luck in these challenges, but I guess it all changed today,” Napravnik, a Maryland native, said. “We had a great run. I had a couple of price horses that came in and ran well, so it’s great. I’m really glad to come back on my home turf and represent a little bit.”
Napravnik leads all female jockeys with 93 wins and $4.6 million in purse money so far this year and claimed the $10,000 prize with her win Friday. Napravnik paid $6.20 on a $2 bet to win the challenge, while an exacta with the top two finishers paid $49.20.
The challenge was held as a part of The People’s Pink Party, an effort between Pimlico and the Susan G. Komen foundation to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.
Napravnik won her first race in 2005 at Pimlico and earlier this month, became the first woman to win the Kentucky Oaks.
“I just rode the races like any other race. This is the elite group so it feels great to win the challenge,” Napravnik said. “I enjoy riding in Maryland altogether. I love coming here, because everybody’s friends of mine and they all root for me. To win a challenge here is great.”
Napravik won the first and third races of the challenge aboard Silver Tie Affair and Share Out, a 22-1 shot. She was the runner-up in the second race and finished seventh in the finale aboard Great Motion, but captured four points as the third challenge rider to cross the line to seal her victory over Piermarini.
“This is probably one of the best challenges I’ve been to so far, and I’ve been to a lot of girls’ challenges,” Piermarini said. “They are very warm and welcoming, and the girls have been great.”