Friday Profile: 3 women race to break Kentucky Derby gender barrier

Millions of people will turn on their TVs this Saturday to watch the horse race known as the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports: the Kentucky Derby. Thirteen horses are entered in the longest running sports event in the country, but among them are three unlikely participants.

In the last 136 horse races, there have only been 14 female trainers and five female jockeys. No female trainer or jockey has yet to win a race, but this year trainers Kathy Ritvo and Kathleen O’Donnell and jockey Rosie Napravnik are real contenders for breaking the gender barrier.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik is a 23-year-old who will be riding a colt named “Pants on Fire”. She’s had her jockey license since 2005, and in the last year won the Fair Grounds riding title and last month’s $1 million Louisiana Derby allowing her to place in this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Keep an eye open for  “Watch Me Go” to see the work trainer Kathleen O’Donnell has done. “I feel like I’ve been a trailblazer since time began to be honest with you,” she said. “I’ve been on the track since 1970. My first license said ‘exercise boy’ because there wasn’t even a category to check for a girl.”

 

Resources: http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/how-long-does-the-kentucky-derby-last-and-how-many-people-watch-the-kentucky-derby-every-year

Three women eager to break gender barrier at Derby – http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/05/us-horse-racing-kentucky-women-idUSTRE7447HD20110505

When is the Kentucky Derby 2011 –  http://news.travel.aol.com/seasonal/when-is-the-kentucky-derby-2011/

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