Retirement for Rosie

Rosie Napravnik Announces Retirement

Moments after piloting Untapable to victory in the 31 October Gr1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park, jockey Rosie Napravnik announced plans to retire from race riding.  The 26-year-old rider, who is married to trainer Joe Sharp, said she and her husband are expecting their first child.

“I’ve been planning my retirement since I found out that I was pregnant; I’m seven weeks pregnant,” Napravnik said. “Joe and I decided this summer to stop trying not to have children, and we didn’t know whether it would take a month or a year. It didn’t take very long. So it wasn’t completely unexpected, and when I found out and I worked out the timing I said, ‘I’ll be seven weeks at Breeders’ Cup? Perfect!’

“My plan was to wait until after the weekend, and I don’t know if I’d won on another horse if I would have said anything, but this filly has just been very special to me and it’s a very special way to go out, so I just had to say it since they asked me how much it meant to me.”

Napravnik is a New Jersey native who has always been involved with horses. She began riding in pony races as a small child and progressed to exercising steeplechasers. She got her start on the racetrack with the late Richard “Dickie” Small in Maryland.

According to Equibase, going into the 31 October Santa Anita card, Napravnik had 1,876 wins, 1,634 seconds, and 1,432 thirds from 9,708 starts since she first weighed in in 2005.   Her earnings stood at $69,676,887. Those statistics do not include the Distaff win.

In 2012 she broke Julie Krone’s total wins and earnings record for a woman. She is a two-time winner of the Gr1 Kentucky Oaks, having taken this year’s edition on Untapable along with the 2012 running on Believe You Can.  She is the only woman to have ridden in all three Triple Crown races.  She is the USA’s leading female rider and is currently ranked sixth among all jockeys in North America by earnings with $12.07 million.

Napravnik said she plans to assist Sharp in his fledgling operation. The former assistant to Mike Stidham and Mike Maker went out on his own this year and has a 9-31 record from 19 starts.  “My actual plan for the near future is, I’m going to be working in the barn with Joe. He started training on his own, his training career is thriving already and his stable tripled in size in the first month and a half.  He’s getting more and more calls. and the sky’s really the limit for his career.  It’s great timing to be there and support him so I’m going to be working in the barn, which is something I’ve really missed, doing the actual hands-on horsecare rather than just hop on, hop off, so I’m really excited and I’m still going to be very much involved in the racing.”

(source:  Bloodhorse)

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