Apprentice Jockey Vanessa Fry Wins Her First

Breakthrough victory comes in final race of the day at Fair Grounds Dec. 7.

Apprentice jockey Vanessa Fry, a 25-year-old Atlanta native, notched her first career victory in her eighth lifetime ride in the finale Dec. 7 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (VIDEO).

With one mount scheduled on the card, Fry waited patiently through the first 10 races of the day for her ride aboard Half Moon Stables' H M Rising for trainer Theodore Arndt in the $12,500 state-bred maiden claiming event. A twice-started maiden, H M Rising was sent to post at 49-1, making Fry's rail-skimming ride and first trip to the charmed circle worth a memorable $100 bill.

Fry made her riding debut in the closing days of the Arlington Park meet in Chicago and then rode six horses in the early weeks of the Fair Grounds meet after moving her tack to New Orleans with agent Doug Bredar.

Stopped frequently on her way back to the jockey's room after the race, Fry received enthusiastic congratulations from trainers, riders, and fans alike. As she headed toward the inevitable rite of passage that comes from fellow riders on the occasion of an apprentice jockey's first win (in this case, the entire jockey colony waiting for her with powder and multiple buckets of water), she was asked to comment.

"If I could tell them one thing, it's that I thank God for this," Fry said.

Fry is slated for two mounts on Sunday's nine-race card.