Napravnik wins 4 in journeyman debut

Horse Racing

September 07, 2006|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

When Anna (Rosie) Napravnik brought Sioux for Awad home to victory in the first race on her first ride as a journeyman on opening day of the fall meet at Laurel Park yesterday, she felt the weight lift from her slim shoulders.

"Getting the first one gave me confidence for the rest of the day," said Napravnik, who followed up the Sioux for Awad ($7.80) victory with wins on Family Ghost ($3.40) and Partners Due ($3.40). "My agent had me on good horses."

By the time she brought Procreate ($5.40) home to the winner's circle for trainer Mike Trombetta in the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes in the ninth race, Napravnik was celebrating her fourth win of the day.

It looked like business as usual for the 18-year-old, who finished her apprentice year Aug. 23 as the fifth-ranked jockey in the country.

Yesterday, there was one nervous moment at the end of the eighth race. Napravnik had just won on Partners Due, also for Trombetta, and was headed to the winner's circle when jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, on second-place finisher Kiss Me Katie, filed an objection against her for alleged interference around the turn.

Napravnik, who had just served a 10-day suspension for rough riding, thought she had done nothing wrong. But as she watched the replays she began to worry because the review was taking so long.

"I was watching the replays and the stewards were waiting to talk to me and I didn't know that," she said. "Ryan was yelling through the entire race. I knew he was back there, but there was a horse between us. There wasn't much I could do. I felt I had left enough room for the middle horse to give him some wiggle room. But no one is just going to give you the rail.

"I thought I held my horse straight and steady."

The stewards thought so, too, and disallowed the objection.

In the Mister Diz, Procreate broke third from the gate and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Hands On, ridden by Erick Rodriguez.

"It's such a pleasure to give Rosie this trophy," said trainer Dickie Small, who presented the trophy in honor of the horse owned and trained by his father. "Some riders are bothered when they lose their bug [apprenticeship], but not her. She's a natural."

Trombetta added Napravnik has learned her lessons well and fast.

"Her business may change a little. Old time trainers believe five pounds [the rookie weight advantage] is worth a length," said Trombetta, who started using Napravnik on his horses this summer at Delaware Park. `The best thing she can do is win like today and build on that momentum."

Because of the heavy rains over the last several days, all the turf races scheduled yesterday were run on the dirt and will be again today and tomorrow.

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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