Top female jockeys to contend at Pimlico

Fundraiser will aid breast cancer research, awareness

March 01, 2011|By From Sun staff reports

A Female Jockey Challenge is being added to the second-year partnership between Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast-cancer fundraising and awareness initiative held May 20 on Black-Eyed Susan Day.

The Challenge will feature six of the world's top women's jockeys competing in four races with points awarded based upon their finish.

The main focus of the day is the 87th running of the $250,000 Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a race that will be televised on Versus.

Seventy-five percent of the money raised will go to the Maryland affiliate to use for community outreach programs in the state, and 25 percent will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.

The day also will include the Lady Legends For the Cure Race II. Last year's inaugural race was the first pari-mutuel race showcasing retired female riders, two of whom are breast cancer survivors.

In the Female Jockey Challenge, the jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion.

Riding assignments will be determined by a drawing May 15, and jockeys will receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race.

The six riders who agreed to take part are:

•Vicky Baze, who ranks fourth all-time with 1,997 wins through Sunday.

•Forest Boyce, Maryland's leading rider in 2010, who was runner-up for the Eclipse Award for apprentices after a 129-win year.

•Rosie Napravnik, who won 300 races in 2006, including 259 at Pimlico and Laurel Park.

•Chantal Sutherland, who ranked 13th in North America last year with $8.8 million in earnings and is third all-time with more than $40 million.

•Hayley Turner, who is the top female rider in the United Kingdom with nearly 500 career winners.

•Emma-Jayne Wilson, who was the only female rider to win the Queen's Plate, one of the three races in Canada's Triple Crown series, in 2007.

Gwen Jocson, who won the inaugural Lady Legends For the Cure Race aboard Honor in Peace for her 764th career victory, tore ligaments in her hand while exercising for John Servis earlier this winter and will not defend her title.

The 2011 field features the seven other initial participants plus Abby Fuller.

•Andrea Seefeldt-Knight (second in 2010), one of only two women to have ridden in the Preakness (Looming, 1994) and Kentucky Derby (Forty Something, 1991).

•Mary Russ-Tortora (third), who was the first female rider to win a Grade I race (1982).

•Mary Wiley-Wagner (fourth), a breast-cancer survivor, who briefly returned as an active rider after the 2010 race only to retire again for this event.

•Patti "PJ" Cooksey (fifth), a breast-cancer survivor who was the first female to ride in the Preakness (Tajawa, 1985).

•Barbara Jo Rubin (sixth), who was the first woman to win a pari-mutuel race in the United States (1969).

•Jennifer Rowland-Small (seventh), a pioneering jockey in Maryland in the 1970s, winning 192 races.

•Cheryl White (eighth), the first African-American female rider, who won five races at the Fresno Fair on Oct. 19, 1983.

•Abby Fuller (newcomer), who captured the NYRA's Filly Triple Crown in 1985 aboard Mom's Command.

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