Not since 2003 has a female jockey ever tried to ride in the Kentucky Derby, but this Saturday, we are going to have the potential at history. If Anna Napravnik, riding on Pants On Fire can take the bed of roses, she’ll become the first female jockey in six attempts to claim glory in the biggest race at Churchill Downs.
2-3-1, 8 Races
The good news for Pants On Fire and his jockey is that the two have already combined for one big time win this year at the G2 Louisiana Derby. A field chock full of other big time horses that are Triple Crown contenders ran up against Pants On Fire, and he put that field, including Nehro and Mucho Macho Man to shame, winning by a quarter length in a race that was essentially led from start to finish.
The hope is that Pants On Fire can be the sped in this race, just as he was in his one race run on the slop at Del Mar last October. He ended up winning that race by a whopping seven lengths, though the field in that one mile run was nothing to really to write home about. This is one of the few horses that also has a speed rating of over 100 to his credit, something that it will probably take to win this race.
Good ol’ AP Indy is in this horse’s bloodlines, and this is a colt that has produced more Triple Crown race winners either directly or indirectly than you can count. There’s no doubt that the pedigree is there for this horse to have the distance, and if Pants On Fire can parlay that distance breed with a good post position and a positive start, he’ll be in great shape for a great run down the stretch.
The biggest question that we have is whether Napravnik can really get the job done or not. She has only won that one stakes race in her career, this year Louisiana Derby, and she has obviously never had a mount in a race like this before. Trainer Kelly Breen has only had two visits here to Churchill Downs as well, and neither of his horses really ended up doing all that much, with the best finisher being West Side Bernie in ninth place two years ago.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.