With a pair of female jockeys each taking down races with huge purses in the last three weeks, there couldn’t be a better time to take a look at the ten hottest female riders in the country. And by hottest, I mean both physically attractive and successful in the irons.
The latest big score came this past weekend when Rosie Napravnik became the first female rider to capture the Grade I $1 million Louisiana Derby aboard 6-to-1 shot Pants on Fire (ranked No. 16 on Horse Racing Nation’s 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders list).
The victory was the icing on the cake of a remarkable meet that also saw Napravnik become the first female jockey to win a riding title at the Fair Grounds. Her 110 wins were 31 more than second-leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan.
Earlier this month, Chantal Sutherland (pictured), the poster girl for hot female jockeys, won the biggest race of her career with a controversial score in the Grade I $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap aboard Game on Dude. After picking up the mount for trainer Bob Baffert on the morning of the race, she became the first female rider to win the Big ‘Cap.
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As an apprentice in 2010, Forest Boyce led all jockeys in Maryland with 129 wins while earning over $2 million in purse money. She was the runner-up in the Eclipse Award voting for apprentice jockey.
Boyce is on pace to surpass last year's totals having already posted 32 wins and over $600,000 in earnings to begin 2011. Those numbers have her ranked in the top 100 nationally in both categories.
A native of England, Alice Cartwright began her riding career in the U.S. in 2009 at The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
In her second year of riding, Cartwright won 13 races and earned over $750,000 in purse money.
Still riding as an apprentice, Cartwright has moved her tack to the West Coast in 2011, where she has five wins and over $100,000 in earnings at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California.
Riding at a variety of tracks in Florida and New England in 2010, Kristina McManigell won 51 races and earned over $700,000 in purse money.
In 2011, she has seven wins and nearly $150,000 in earnings while riding primarily at Parx Racing in Philadelphia.
After graduating from high school, McManigell attended the North American Racing Academy in Lexington, Kentucky run by Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron.
After that, she excercised horses for Todd Pletcher at Saratoga for one year and her first ride came at Churchill Downs in a race where she finished last.
She started riding full-time at Tampa Bay Downs where she got her first win aboard Real Stormy on January 7, 2010.
Before coming to Southern California in 2007, Kayla Stra won over 500 races in her native Australia where she was the female face of horse racing. Her biggest win in Australia came in the 2005 City of Marion Stakes aboard Native Shaker.
Her first win in the U.S. came with Flying Bearcat at Hollywood Park on November 9, 2007.
After a disappointing two years in Southern California, Stra moved her tack to Northern California towards the end of 2009. In 2010, she won 54 races and earned over $1 million in purses at Golden Gate Fields outside of San Francisco.
She is back riding in Southern California in 2011 and has once again struggled, recording just one victory in 39 starts at the current Santa Anita meet.
While riding in Southern California in 2009, Stra was featured in the reality show Jockeys on Animal Planet. After two successful seasons, the popular show was canceled due to the inabilty of those involved to come to financial agreements.
Widely considered to be the only female to sustain a career as a jockey in the United Kingdom, Hayley Turner became the first female to ride 100 Flat race winners and was one of only five jockeys to ride in 900 races in 2008.
After beginning her riding career in 2000, she was named Champion Apprentice in 2005 after winning 44 races.
She sufferred an injury in 2009, but was still able to ride 60 winners that year and followed with 73 winners in 2010 including riding significant Group horses Barshiba and Margot Did.
Turner's success has continued in 2011, as she already has 27 wins and broke down barriers in the Arab world by riding in the prestigious Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.
Later this year, she will come across the pond to compete in the Female Jockey Challenge at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, MD against five other riders, including Boyce, Napravnik and Sutherland.
Her website can be found at http://www.hayleyturner.com.
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Maylan Studart began her riding career in the U.S. in Florida in 2008.
She started off with a bang, winning with five of her first 15 mounts including a 51-to-1 long shot.
Since then, she has become a fixture on the racing circuit in New York, combining to earn over $1.6 million in purses the last two years.
Wow, you probably didn't expect that picture.
Studart has been mired in a slump to start 2011 that has seen her win with just two of her 102 mounts at Aqueduct. However, she has finished in the money 18 tmes and earned nearly $150,000 in purse money.
Click here for a Q&A session that was conducted with Sturdart back in 2009.
In over 18 year of riding, Rosemary Homeister Jr. has amassed 2,438 victories and earned nearly $43 million in purse money.
She was the first female rider to win the Eclpse Award for an apprentice after she won 172 races in 1992.
In 2003, she became just the fifth female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby when she finsihed 13th aboard Supah Blitz.
After a brief retirement that began in 2004 ended in 2006, she went on to become the 2nd leading rider at Tampa Bay Downs in 2007 and 2008.
She experienced tremendous success with Cloudy's Knight in 2009, winning a pair of Grade III races before finishing second by a nose in the Breeders' Cup Marathon at Santa Anita Park.
A winner of 102 stakes races including four Grade II victories, she was still at the top of her game when she announced in early 2011 that she was pregnant and would be taking an indefinite leave of abscence from riding.
A native of Sweeden, Inez Karlsson won her first race in the U.S. at Arlington Park in Chicago in 2007.
After returning from injury in 2008, she became the first female rider to win four races in one day at Arlington, accomplishing the feat twice while becoming the meet's leading apprentice rider.
She was in the Top 100 nationally from 2008-10, winning 423 races and amassing over $8 million in purse earnings while riding at Arlington and Hawthorne Race Course.
After winning the Grade III Arlington Park Handicap with Rahystrada, Karlsson's 2010 season was cut short, as she too announced she was pregnant and is due to have her first child in July.
She is currently working as a commentator for Hawthorne Race Course.
Rosie Napravnik's win in the Louisiana Derby and riding title at the Fair Grounds are certainly no fluke. She was the Eclipse Award runner-up to Julien Leparoux for apprentice jockey in 2006 after winning 300 races and earning nearly $6.4 million in purse money.
Despite being riddled with many injuries over the past five years, Napravnik has continued to ride at a high level, setting a career mark with $6.5 million earned in 2010.
Her success at the recently concluded Fairgrounds meet has her on pace to shatter all of her career marks for wins and earnings, as she is ranked 2nd nationally with 88 wins and 4th with $3.1 million in purse money.
She will ride next at Keeneland's three-week boutique meet before moving on to Delaware Park, where she was the leading rider last year.
Let's not forget the date she has on the first Saturday in May with Pants on Fire in the Kentucky Derby. She will be just the sixth female rider to enter the starting gate at Churchill Downs for the Derby and will try to be the first to win the run for the roses.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Chantal Sutherland is one of the leading riders at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and has found success riding at Santa Anita Park over the last few winters.
After winning her first career race at Woodbine in 2000, she was named Canda's leading apprentice rider in 2001 and really saw her career take off in 2002 when she won 136 races and earned nearly $6 million in purse money.
She struggled for a few years while trying to establish herself in New York and Florida, but returned to full-time riding at Woodbine in 2007 and went on to win 506 races and earn over $25 million in purses over the next four years.
During that time, she has ridden at Santa Anita in the winter and just three weeks ago notched the biggest win of her career in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap. While her most recent stint in Southern California didn't start out well, following the Big 'Cap win she has decided to remain in Southern California full-time. Having recently become a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she will pursue a career in Hollywood alongside her riding career.
She was also featured in Jockeys on Animal Planet, where her relationship with Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith was front and center. After being engaged briefly in 2010, the couple is no longer together ... for now.
Sutherland is currenly playng a role in the HBO series Luck, which is being filmed at Santa Anita and directed by David Milch. It is scheduled to debut later this Fall, as the first season of filming has almost wrapped.
Previously, Sutherland was also featured in both Sports Illustrated and Vogue spreads, was named one of People magazines "100 Most Beautiful People" in 2008, and was the face of Canadian-based cosmetics firm Mistura.
A native of Belzoni, Mississippi, Anna Roberts has been riding in Louisiana at the Fair Grounds and Louisiana Downs since 2009. In her first two years in the irons, she won 50 races and earned nearly $800,000 in purse money.
In 2011, Roberts has struggled to get mounts, winning with two of her 29 rides and earning just $28,500 in purses. All but one of her races this year has come at the Fair Grounds, with the other ride coming at Tampa Bay Downs.