Rosie Napravnik, a 17-year-old rookie sensation and the leading jockey at Laurel Park, was involved in a four-horse accident in the first race yesterday, suffering a broken left collarbone that will sideline her for four to six weeks of the fall meet.
Later in the afternoon, Promenade Girl, a 3-year-old filly trained by Larry Murray, took on a field of boys in the 1 1/8 -mile, $75,000 Northern Dancer Stakes for Maryland-breds and finished second to Gold Casing, a gelding sired by Americo's Bullet.
Napravnik was riding Dublin Money and racing through the final turn in a 5 1/2 -furlong race for 2-year-old claimers when Rubidium, the horse running in front of her, appeared to clip heels and fell, sending his jockey, Chris Russell, to the ground.
Napravnik's horse tried to leap Rubidium but clipped his back legs with the downed horse and fell. Napravnik was jettisoned face down onto the dirt.
Two trailing horses, Prime Time Chief and Twiknot, swerved to avoid the pileup and sent their jockeys, Walter Cullum and Charles Forrest, respectively, sprawling onto the track.
Russell, unconscious for two minutes after his fall, was tested and released at Howard County General Hospital. Cullum suffered a sprained right wrist and concussion. Forrest was able to ride in the next race.
Napravnik was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital for X-rays and treatment.
Going into yesterday's race, she had had 11 multiple-win afternoons and led all Laurel Park riders with 45 wins in 44 days.
None of the horses involved in the accident was seriously injured, said track veterinarian David Zipf.
In the feature race, Gold Casing, owned by Milton Moon and trained by William Hairfield, took the early lead under the direction of jockey Jozbin Santana, hit what Hairfield called "a cruising gear" along the backstretch and won by four lengths. He paid $9.40, $4.00 and $3.60.
Hairfield worried about fifth-place finisher Prideland, who was 2-0 this year and 5-1 lifetime, but not Promenade Girl, who went off as the 4-5 favorite and paid $2.60 and $2.40, after nosing out Serious Lightning ($5.20) for second.
"Mr. Moon and I had her handicapped in fourth," said Hairfield, 69, who was celebrating his first stakes victory after 36 years in the training business.
"Fillies don't beat colts in my opinion," said Moon, 60, of Glen Burnie, who operates his two-horse stable as Ajax Enterprises. "And my horse has been doing real well. He's won his last three now [after starting his career 0-5]. It seems the longer he goes, the better he gets. He'll be moving up in class now."
Promenade Girl might, too, as trainer Larry Murray was not put off by his horse's second-place finish. "It is tough to catch a horse that gets out to an easy lead like that," Murray said. `That was the horse I was afraid of, and he was tough to run down."
Murray said he is considering running the daughter of Carson City and Promenade Colony against older horses in next month's $75,000 Geisha Handicap, a race for fillies and mares 3 years old and up.