Apprentice jockey Stephanie LaRicci won with her very first mount July 13 at Gulfstream Park when she sent Language of Love to the lead shortly after the start of the third race en route to a 10-1 upset.
Trained by David Fawkes for owner/breeder Maxxam Alliance, Language of Love won the $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares by 3 1/2 lengths. The 3-year-old daughter of Langfuhr recorded a six-furlong time of 1:11.55 over a fast track.
"It was incredible. We broke and I said, 'I'm going to lay off the speed horse.' And then I said, 'Wait, I am the speed horse," LaRicci said. "It felt easy when we were going around the turn. I didn't want to look back, and I said, 'Come on, baby, take it home.'"
Language of Love returned $22 to win.
"I've wanted to do this since I was a little girl. I didn't think it would happen. I thought I was getting a little too old," said the 25-year-old native of Homestead, Fla. She was accompanied to the winner's circle by her parents.
LaRicci has worked for Fawkes during her four years on the racetrack.
"She started out walking. Shortly after she started galloping. She's been galloping steady for 3 1/2 years," the trainer said. "She's done a great job and she deserves this opportunity."
Upon her return to the jockey's room, LaRicci received the traditional shower of ice water, baby powder and raw eggs, courtesy of the track's veteran riders.