Anna Napravnik, 17, Gets Win in Maiden Ride

(from Pimlico release)
Seventeen-year-old Anna Rosie Napravnik, a former exercise rider, made her dream a reality June 9 when she guided Ringofdiamonds home at Pimlico Race Course in her first official mount.

Poised above the 4-year-old filly in the first race of the day, a $7,500 claiming event for fillies and mares, Napravnik gunned for the lead and slowly increased her advantage throughout the race. She peeked back at her competition several times and set down her mountfor the drive leading by more than four lengths. The pair crossed the wire two lengths in front, stopping the clock in 1:47 2/5 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Richard Small trains Ringofdiamonds, a bay daughter of Diamond. Napravnik, who has worked for Small since early 2004, was clearly excited after piloting her first winner in her first attempt.

"That was so much fun," she said. "Since I was about 7 years old, I've dreamed of becoming a jockey. I started out riding a 12-hand pony in pony races. To be riding here today is pretty major."

Considering it was her maiden voyage around Old Hilltop, she maintained her composure quite well.

"I don't get nervous," Napravnik said. "I rode this horse every day in the morning. I've been working with Mr. Small for a year now. That's when I started galloping horses on the track. This is what I came here for. My dreams are coming true."

(Chart, Equibase)