The Kentucky Derby has been going strong for 136 hat-filled years. But in all those races, a mere five female jockeys have competed—and none of them crossed the finish line first. But this weekend, we’re hoping that Rosie Napravnik, age 23, can change that. Rosie (left) will be rising a horse with the best name ever—Pants on Fire—who has a good shot at winning after taking home the win at the Louisiana Derby. May Kentucky be as lucky a state for Rosie.
Oh, but there are two more interesting ladies hoping for Derby glory—trainers Kathy Ritvo and Kathleen O’Donnell. Together, they bring the number of female trainers who have had horses in the Kentucky Derby up to, gulp, 16. “I feel like I’ve been a trailblazer since time began to be honest with you,” said Kathleen, who trains Watch Me Go. “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.”
Kathy’s horse is ironically named Mucho Macho Man. “I’m very serious about my job and what has to happen with the horse, but other than that, I don’t worry about it. It’s all good,” she said.