Napravnik sisters take on Saratoga
In what may be one of the rarest occurrences in horse racing, two sisters team up on Saturday at Saratoga for a shot at glory. YNN's Matt Hunter caught up with sisters Jasmine and Rosie Napravnik before joining forces for the day's fifth race.
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SARATOGA RACE COURSE -- "Jazz was really the one who started in pony racing, and of course I wanted to do everything that my big sister wanted to do. So I followed in her footsteps," said Rosie Napravnik, jockey.
Rosie Napravnik is hardly the only little sister grew up idolizing her big sister. On their family's farm in New Jersey, Rosie and big sister, Jasmine, were raised in the saddle with a mother who trained event horses.
"I just fell in love with it slowly. I started out eventing as a child, but it was the need for speed that got me into it," said Jasmine "Jazz" Napravnik, trainer.
"Very much a role model. I learned so much from Jazz, horses, non-horses, life in general," said Rosie. "She was also very tough, and that's where I acquired that quality from."
Today, the duo are more than seven years into professional careers in horse racing: Rosie, as a well known jockey, and Jazz as a lesser known trainer.
"Here we are, and both doing what we've been working toward, so it's pretty cool," said Rosie.
Jazz said, "Sometimes she was a little opinionated, but I think that's what makes her a great rider today."
With Rosie traveling around the country, and Jazz spending most of her time in Maryland, the duo have only teamed up on the track a handful of times. Since getting an early win together at Colonial Downs in 2005, they've failed to reach the winner's circle as a pair.
In Saturday's fifth race at Saratoga, they had a chance to recapture that glory with a horse named Page McKenney.
"If we win the race today with Page McKenney, it would be like that race at Colonial Towns times a thousand, because it's Saratoga," said Rosie.
"To team up and do it again, there's nothing like that. We love winning races, any race, but to win a race together is even better," said Jazz.
Unfortunately, the sisters did not get the final ending they were looking for. For the elder Napravnik, it's all about keeping things in perspective.
"I always love when Rosie gets to ride for me because I know she's not out there making mistakes. I know I can't blame the jockey, I can only blame myself," Jazz said.