Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Triple Crown Racing

Rosie Napravnik aboard Mylute 2013 Kentucky Derby
(Photo:  Andy Lyons. Getty Images)

The Triple Crown is lost this year.  Orb won the Kentucky Derby but did poorly in the Preakness.  With Orb out of the contention for the Crown, I was searching for a horse to root for in the Belmont.  I would like to see a woman win the Belmont (again), and I think Rosie Napravnik and Mylute could do it.   The Belmont is tough, at a mile and half it is the longest of the triple crown tracks, and it is the third jewel of the Triple Crown that is ran within 5 weeks, so it is very tough on the horses who have competed in the previous races.

Before we get too carried away, let me state that I don't know the first thing about horse racing...I don't follow it, and I don't bet on horses.  I do for some unknown reason like the Triple Crown races...but again, I don't know a damn thing about the sport.  Its a retirement thing.  Last year for instance I was rooting for Union Rags during the Kentucky Derby.  Why?  I liked the name of horse and ball cap that the trainer and owner wore.  Great looking hat, I wanted one.  This year I went into the racing season with no hat drawn favorites.  I sort of liked the name Oxbow, but beyond that, I really had no favorites and let's face it, Oxbow is not a cool name like Union Rags.  One should read my commentary as the blatherings of an idiot that knows nothing about horse racing but is wise enough to keep his money in his wallet.  That is about the only wisdom I can offer.  When you use the trainer's hat as a basis of selection of a favorite, you know you have reached to bottom of the barrel of knowledgeable choice.  So don't put any money on what I say.  You may not want to put any money on what the experts say either.  Orb was supposed to win the Preakness hands down.  A lot of people lost a lot money on that horse, but not me.

  This year Orb jockeyed by Joel Rasario won the Derby and it was an exciting win.  Here is the official race replay from YouTube:

This video (which seems a tad crude compared to the NBC televised video but is the official one with the Yums brand smeared on it and I hope will survive the YouTube censors) has an interesting graphic at the bottom.  You can watch the relative positions of the horses during the race.  Unfortunately the graphic disappears in the home stretch.  There are two horses I would like you to pay attention to, Orb #16 ridden by Joel Rosario, and Mylute #6 ridden by Rosie Napravnik.  For the first minute of the race they are both way in the back of the race.  Following the video clock time, at 1:20 Orb 16 starts to move up.   But watch #6 Mylute at 1:30 to 1:34 (look at boxes in the diagram).  As Orb moves up Mylute is not far behind.  When the boxes disappear, you can see Mylute in the video on the home stretch, the horse furthest outside, yellow silk.   I can't help to wonder, what if Napravnik and Mylute had another 1/4 mile?

OK so Orb won the Derby and of course wanting a Triple Crown winner, I was rooting for Orb in the Preakness.  Here is NBCs broadcast of the Preakness.

In this race, Orb is #1 with red and white silk, and Mylute is #5 with magenta silk with yellow.  At the beginning of the race both Orb and Mylute are at the back of pack.  Gary Stevens on Oxbow #6, black silk with yellow chevrons, pulls out ahead and sets the pace for the entire race, and wins it.  Rosario and Napravnik stepped on the gas on the final turn and Orb lost ground.  Mylute pulled up on the far outside.  Watch the final stretch.  Mylute #5 on the far outside keeps closing in and finished third.  The Preakness is a 1 3/16 of a mile.  In both the Derby and the Preakness, Mylute appeared to have a good run at the final stretch but ran out of track.  Again what will happen if he runs the 1 1/2  mile Belmont?  Mylute just may have enough track to complete that end run.  Gary Stevens aboard Oxbow won the race and at age 50 and after a 7 year retirement it was a great achievement for Stevens.

But here is the thing, Mylute finished fifth in the Derby beating Oxbow, and Mylute finished third in the Preakness beating Orb.  The Belmont is being dubbed the tie breaker between Orb and Oxbow.  But I think Mylute has a good chance at beating both.  But we will never find out:, Tom Amoss trainee Mylute to skip Belmont, point toward summer campaign

She has grit.  Rosie after placing ninth
in the Humana Distaff  5/4/2013.
(Photo: Jeremy Price. Getty Images)

I just read that trainer Tom Amoss and Mylute are going to skip the Belmont.  Amoss thinks the horse is better suited for shorter runs.  Damn, what does he know?  Does he wear a hat?   I can see on the videos that Mylute just needs a bit more track and he could win.  The Belmont could give Mylute and Napravnik a Triple Crown race win.  Oh well, now I have to find a new horse to root for.  I am not sure, but I would imagine that Napravnik will probably not make the Belmont either unless she can find another horse.  Damn I wanted to see Napravnik and Mylute win the Belmont.  Not to happen.
Rosie aboard Mylute during the Kentucky Derby.
(Photo: AP)

Rosie Napravnik is 25 years old and she has been a licensed jockey since she was 17.  Her life time wins are over 1500 first place wins earning over $50 million.  Her 2013 stats are 127 first place wins with over $5.4 million in earnings, ranking 5th in a field of 1279.  Along with her impressive winnings she has the broken bones to prove her mettle...multiple fractures of the back, leg, arm, collar bone and wrist.  Can she win in a "man's field?" Ahhhhh, fifth in 1279?  She can ride with the boys any day!   Here is what Hall of Fame, winner of the Preakness, Gary Stevens said about her:

“I don’t care what kind of clothes she puts on after her races are over or what kind of perfume she puts on,” Stevens said. “She’s competitive. She’s tough. She rides a good race. She rides a smart race. And she’s fiery. She’s got all the tools of a great jockey, and she’s still improving; that’s the beauty of it. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Rosie Napravnik if she stays healthy."
Washington, Preakness Stakes: Aboard Mylute, Rosie Napravnik has the drive to win  

Lesser jockeys have told her to go home and have babies or stay in the kitchen, and that is why I want her to win the Belmont.  I enjoy a woman shaking up the boys.  I would enjoy it even more if she whipped their asses with her riding crop at the Belmont.  The Belmont has been won previously by a woman, Julie Krone, the only woman to have won a Triple Crown race.  Its been 20 years, and I would like to see Rosie win one for the ladies.

Another thing I like about Rosie Napravnik, she keeps her clothes on.  There are no hits in the "Rosie Napravnik Hot" image search.  Can't say the same thing for Mike Smith.  We are going to have to admire Rosie for her talents on a horse, not scantily clad in front of the camera.

Navigating The Finite: Sex and Women's Sports & How Changing The Cat Litter Has Improved My Social Awareness 

Here is a segment from  60 Minutes about Rosie televised prior to the Kentucky Derby:

Ha! Ha!  Hot Damn! Late breaking news.  Rosie is going to ride Code West for Bob Baffert in the Belmont.  Alrighty!  I have a horse and I have a jockey to root for.  No hat though.  I have never seen the snow white haired Baffert wearing a hat.

Daily Racing Form, Belmont Stakes: Napravnik to ride Code West for Baffert

One last thought about Rosie...during the Preakness broadcast, Rosie was interviewed prior to the race. She was asked something to the effect of what would she do if she found herself riding against another woman.  She replied that she would get very competitive.  She was asked why.  "Because I don't want to be beat by a girl!"

Edit 6-6-13: Rosie Napravnik will now ride Unlimited Budget!   Owner Gary West and trainer Bob Baffert pulled Code West from running the Belmont.  Rosie Napravnik will now ride Unlimited Budget, a filly, for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher.  Pletcher is running four other horses in the Belmont this year out of field of 14.  Napravnik will face her previous Triple Crown competition.   Derby winner Orb jockeyed  by Joel Rosario is the favorite at 3-1 odds.  Preakness winner Oxbow with Gary Stevens aboard is at 5-1 odds.  Napravnik and Unlimited Budget are at 8-1 odds.  Napravnik is making history by being the first woman to ride all three triple crown races in one year.  I hope that she is the second woman to win the Belmont.

Belmont Stakes, Unlimited Budget 

The Belmont will run Saturday June 8, 2013.  Post Time: 6:36 Eastern.  US TV coverage NBC 5 PM to 7 PM.

Belmont Stakes Home Page  

Photo & Video Credits: 

Napravnik Aboard Mylute:  USA, Mylute gives Napravnik her first Preakness mount

Video 2013 Kentucky Derby: YouTube: 2013 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands Race Replay

Video 2013 Preakness: YouTube, Orb Chokes at Preakness Stakes 2013 | LIVE 5-18-13

Napravnik has grit:, photos, Kentucky Derby 2013

Rosie aboard Mylute:, Napravnik finishes fifth with Mylute

Video, CBS 60 Minutes:  People, Rosie Napravnik Hopes to Make History as First Female Kentucky Derby Winner