To win the Kentucky Derby, “it takes patience, a fine touch, and an absolute absence of fear,” as Bob Simon said on 60 Minutes last night—and Rosie Napravnik has all of those attributes. One of the few female jockeys in the sport, Napravnik has won more than 1,500 races and broken her back, legs, arm, and collarbone in the process. She’s at the top of her game this year, placing first, second, or third in nearly 60 percent of her races, giving many hope that she could ride thoroughbred Mylute to victory. Having spent a lifetime in the stables, she’s got racing in her blood: “She’s 25 years old,” her father says, “but she’s been riding for 26 years” – that is, while she was still in the womb. With a bit of luck, we may get to dye our mint juleps pink this weekend.
Rosie Napravnik could be the first woman to win in Kentucky.