Jockey Rosie Napravnik, Maryland’s top rider last year, suffered three compression fractures in the thoracic region of her back as a result of a spill at Laurel Park Jan. 26 and will be sidelined eight to 12 weeks.
The thoracic vertebrae compose the middle segment of the vertebral column, between the cervical vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae.
The incident occurred a furlong past the finish line when Napravnik’s mount, Look Out Lorie, tumbled to the ground after finishing second in the sixth race, spilling the 18-year-old rider.
“There’s not any real treatment for it, in my case lying down and letting it heal,” said Napravnik, who won 300 races in 2006 and was runner-up for the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice. “I am not in any kind of brace or anything. I have a brace that I will use when I get a little more active. I can walk right now but I am trying to stay immobile.”
This is the second major injury in the 20-month career for the New Jersey native. In November 2005, she fractured her left collarbone in a spill and missed nearly six weeks. She returned to dominate the Maryland jockey colony, capturing the riding titles at all four meets at the major Maryland tracks a year ago. She has 387 career victories with $8 million in earnings.
“It’s very frustrating whenever you get a setback like this,” said Napravnik, who will turn 19 Feb 9. “You go from doing well and being active to a complete halt in your career and everyday life. Coming from the Eclipse Awards several weeks ago, I was getting so many compliments and given a lot of confidence as far as my riding goes, so I was excited to get better. I was very optimistic about this year, but it’s going to wait awhile.”