Rosie Napravnik Injured in Training Accident

by | 06.15.2014 | 8:32am
Rosie Napravnik

Jockey Rosie Napravnik is expected to be out of the saddle for four-to-six weeks while she recovers from a shoulder injury suffered in a training mishap early Sunday morning at Churchill Downs.

Napravnik suffered what her husband, Joe Sharp, described as a “mild separation” of the clavicle at the joint in her left shoulder, according the rider's business agent Kelly Summers Weitsma. No surgery will be required and Napravnik is expected to make a complete recovery from the injury during her time on the sidelines.

The injury occurred during a workout by the Bob Baffert-trained Socialbug, who suffered a fatal injury that sent Napravnik tumbling to the main track. Socialbug, who had finished second in the $111,000 Winning Colors (Grade III) on May 26, was euthanized following the accident.

Napravnik was transported to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment.

The 26-year-old Napravnik was injured just a few hours after she had piloted Winchell Thoroughbreds' favored Tapiture to victory in the $109,400 Matt Winn (GIII) for 3-year-olds on Saturday evening's “Downs After Dark” racing program at Churchill Downs.

The victory was her 31st of the Spring Meet, the second-highest total for a female rider during any racing meet at Churchill Downs. Napravnik now holds the two highest victory totals by a female rider in a single Churchill Downs race meet. She rode 45 winners in the Spring of 2013 to break a record held by retired jockey and current NBC Sports racing analyst Donna Barton Brothers, who had ridden 30 winners during the 1996 Spring Meet.

Corey Lanerie leads the current Spring Meet jockey standings with 42 wins heading into Sunday's racing at the Louisville track. Napravnik was in the runner-up spot, nine wins ahead of third-place Julien Leparoux.

During Kentucky Derby Week Napravnik rode Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable to victory in the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). The Oaks triumph was the second in three years for Napravnik, who is the only woman to win the race in its 140-year history.

She also eclipsed another record held by Barton Brothers on May 25 when she rode five winners on a single Churchill Downs racing program. Barton Brothers rode four winners on June 28, 1996 to establish the previous record for female riders.

Napravnik's five-win performance prompted Churchill Downs announcer to exclaim “Everything's coming up Rosie!” when she scored her third triumph – and third in-a-row – during her record-setting day.

Five of her victories during the meet have come in stakes races. In addition to the Oaks and Matt Winn, she rode Midnight Lucky to victory in the $330,600 Humana Distaff (GI); Delaunay in the $112,900 Aristides (GIII) and Regally Ready in the $64,907 Opening Verse.

  • Quilla

    All good wishes to Rosie.

  • Jason

    #[email protected]!%^& Baffert

    • Barbara Bowen

      Jason, I understand that Baffert is persona non grata these days, but no trainer in their right mind sent out a filly as valuable as Socialbug to risk a break down – other than the inherent risk anytime a horse runs 35 mph. Nor did Rosie work her thinking that – she is a very good horsewoman and rider and can sense if something is awry. Maybe go with offering condolences first? And wishing Rosie a speedy recovery?

      • Thoroughbred Watch Dog

        I heard the exact same explanation, word for word, the last time a Baffert filly broke down

        • Barbara Bowen

          Not sure what you mean, or what filly. What does a TB Watch Dog looks like?

          • Black Helen


        • vinceNYC

          So in your erudite view , Baffert intentionally sends out his top horses so they can breakdown because that will attract clients…..tell me how many horses breakdown every day at Penn National , Fairmount Park , Arapahoe Park etc….or are you only concerned with fast horses

          • kochrepellent

            Actually, the breakdown rate at Arapahoe is relatively low: 3.2 breakdown/injury incidents per 1,000 starts (source NYT 3/24/2012). The national average for the 3-year period 2009-2011 was 5.2. Penn was 3.3. Fairmount was an awful 8.0

          • LongTimeEconomist

            Does that include training hour breakdowns?

          • kochrepellent

            No, just those occurring in races.

          • betterthannothing

            Since the cheaper the claiming level is the more accidents happen, so what is Arapahoe’s secret?

          • kochrepellent

            My guess is there are two primary reasons: (1) the track is relatively safe, as those things go, and (2) more important, the season is short (Memorial Day weekend through late August, 3 days a week) and many horses run only at Arapahoe. This means they’re not overraced — maybe 6-8 starts — and are off until the next season. They’re cheap, yes, but are not run into the ground.

      • Ktq1

        Sorry, must concur with Jason. Too much history with this trainer and others like him.

        • Barbara Bowen

          Ok. And I understand the anger and sadness when a horse dies, and a rider is hurt. No worries. Just hoping Rosie is ok, and sending condolences to all of Socialbug’s connections and those who cared for Midnight Lute’s half sister.

  • perkydols

    Heal quickly Rossie….God Bless

    • perkydols

      Sorry, meant to type Rosie!

  • Denise Mosimann

    Ask Baffert to make public herr vet records.

    • Barbara Bowen

      Good idea. I’m sure if every morning and afternoon breakdown incident complies with this directive, Baffert will as well. The guy knows he is being watched and derided at every opportunity so he has become wary of it and errs on side of caution. Although that all said, he wasn’t there and I’m not sure who is running his CDI barn this summer.

      • Barbara Bowen

        It was Jimmy Barnes. He is Bob’s top assistant and was still at CD barn. Jimmy knows those horses better than anyone, and his wife is a rider for the barn. And Rosie knew the filly well, too.

    • scoobynacks

      Why, to further facilitate your witch hunt? She didn’t die of a heart attack or something where you can accuse him of some sort of injection situation. Horses can get hurt out of nowhere. You’re assuming they even did some sort of scan for you to compare. If she seems fine, there’s not gonna be a lot to show you in the form of vet records because the vet’s gonna smoke her over as a matter of routine, see nothing out of place, and move along. If you look at her race record for the year (her whole career frankly), it’s perfectly normal in spacing. He hasn’t over raced her and there doesn’t seem to be a need for serious analysis of her physically. What kind of x-rays would you even expect him to turn over? Why would there even be any?

      • maggie

        Don’t know what it would show but spoke to someone who saw it happen and said it was one of the most gruesome breakdowns they’d seen. And they’ve seen this before…

    • betterthannoting

      I wish all vet records were certified and publicly disclosed for many reasons all to do with improving equine welfare and safety but as of now, no one could tell if Socialbug’s vet records were correct and complete.

      • nu-fan

        Any ideas why these kinds of records are not disclosed to the public?

  • Randi

    Wishes for Rosie to heal speedily.

  • powaymojo

    “She is expected to be released from University Hospital in four to six weeks.” HUH? Guessing that should read ‘days’.

    And, yes best wishes for a rapid return to a top notch rider.

    • Cal MacDonald

      She is expected to be out of competition for 4 to 6 weeks, need to read what is being said! and I quote the article: “She is expected to be out of competition for four to six weeks.” That sentence has nothing to do with her being in the hospital nor does it even mention that. Best wishes to Rosie for a speedy recovery and condolences to all the connections of Socialbug. Injuries can happen anywhere and they aren’t the trainers fault every time. A horse can breakdown in a pasture, or anywhere else, they get injured off the track just as well as on it. Even we humans, who seem to see ourselves as so immune to it can take a bad step and break a leg, an ankle, an arm. Come on people!!!

  • Tulsa Terry

    Bobby does have a few wear out quickly.

  • Real fan

    Tough game!

  • pete

    I am by no means a Baffert hater. I respect him because he knows this game about as good as anyone. But as a lover of the game and horses myself, it worries me that he may sometimes think his horses are machines instead of animals. I just don’t believe that to have success in this game, you have to put in a hard workout EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Best wishes to Rosie for a speedy recovery.

  • Nancy

    They just work these young horse with fine bones way to hard ALL THE TIME !!! so sad :(

    • kellie

      Absolutely I totally agree

  • Stephanie Morse

    hope Rosie gets well soon and doesn’t suffer any ill effects of the collarbone injury

  • pesposito

    Velazuez and Rosie

  • johnhorse

    Sorry to hear you got injured Rosie.Heal swiftly and well see you back in the Tack soon.

  • Matt jacobson

    No matter what you think of bob baffert, ask yourself a question. If you were a horse trainer and one of you horses broke down, just one, how would you feel? Think about it. Don’t rush in with a reaction, I’ve been a trainer / groom for over forty years. I’ve had one horse in my care die. I turned him out after a win and he nicked a tendon sheath in the paddock. I didn’t put tendon boots on him, it was my fault 100 %. What seemed innocuous became a tendon sheath infection-a very, very serious thing. Long story snort, the horse, Odal In Action, died as a result of that infection about six months later despite thousands of dollars and a piece of me. I relive Odal’s life and death a couple times a year. I was in a hurry, I had a win the day before. I wanted to reward him with some green time and I ended up killing him. That was over 25 years ago. Bob Baffert has had 8, by my count, horses die over the last 2 1/2 years. Eight. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight… It is literally, and I could not state this any more profoundly, inconceivable that he could continue training horses. What is it about him, about the person, that allows him to get up every day and look at horses knowing he is ultimately responsible for the death of what amounts to a small herd. I love horses more than anything, save my family, in this world, period. A very bright man once said, “there’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man”. What does Bob Baffert see when he looks at a horse? Please Bob, retire, for the sake of horses.

    • kellie

      Another well made point. This man bob baffert does not care about these beautiful magnificent gifts from god. It really is quite cruelcthe way he does things. All of you know these horses have more heart and try than anything. To watch them run brings tears to my eyes a true thing of beauty. I think that is forgotten. Money and ego get in the way.

    • Teresa Bossow

      He continues because of the money. Regardless of he should or not. He loves being the big cheese in CA and the money. Have you seen his mansion across from Santa Anita park? He gotta pay for all the luxury.

  • Beach

    All prayers for healing and I am deeply, deeply sorry about Socialbug.

  • betterthanmost

    Someone, please, please stop that guy…..
    enough is enough…….stop looking the other way.

  • bettyjane

    First,a speedy recovery to Rosie.Second,my condolences to the connections of Socialbug.Finaly,according to an article in the Courier-Journal,Jimmy Barnes,Bafferts top assistant was quoted as saying “this was the last horse I would have expected this to happen to”Now what does that statement mean exactly?To me it is saying they have other horses that they may not be as surpised if this happens.

  • Mimi Hunter

    First , I send prayers and best wishes to Rosie for a speedy and complete recovery.
    Part of the problem with all these breakdowns is the need for speed. The same conformation that causes that little extra in speed is also the cause of the breakdowns. I never had much physics, but it’s all in the levers and fulcrums and things like that – the long pasterns and canon bones increase the push each leg can give. But this also causes more stress on the joints and bones. involved. Add to that the fact that horses who break down, but don’t die, head to the breeding barn. That means that breeders are selecting for breakdowns – pure and simple. Trainers deal with this basic problem in a whole bunch of ways, some more lethal than others.

  • Laura

    you guys accusing Baffert have no idea how many horses get hurt and/or break down during the mornings, much more than on race day. and it happens to lots of trainers, not only Baffert. spend some time at the track and see for yourselves.

    • betterthannothing

      Sure, i believe you. Who wouldn’t want to spend some time at the track during training hours to watch more horses get hurt (most aggravating “pre-existing conditions” as research shows)! Nothing like watching breakdowns with coffee and donuts!

  • Geoffrey

    Ever think maybe it’s not Baffert, but the fragile quality of the American thoroughbred, constitution diminished over decades of improper breeding?

  • Jvandever

    Horses breakdown everyday. It’s part of the racing world ppl. Iv seen to many breakdowns and they are all gruesome. Bet records are not gonna prove anything, when your working a horse at top speeds thier legs literally can just snap off.

    • G, Rarick

      Especially if you’re working at top speed using lasix, bute, clenbuterol and thyroid medicine! What could possibly go wrong!

      • betterthannothing

        Well said. And what could possibly go wrong with regular corticosteroids IA injections starting at two? In multiple joints like the “six pack” and with no one keeping track of how many and when horses are being injected with cortisone as they are claimed and change barns! Then horses can endure “strong urging” to the wire including in oppressive heath and humidity in the summer or frigid winter temps and including late at night! No wonder horses “love to run” so much. Never mind the illegal stuff du jour… Really, what can possibly go wrong?

  • tbpartner43

    As fans and horse lovers, we should be upset and saddened about every breakdown.. the cheap claimer to the Curlin progeny. Athletes get hurt in every sport. Two event riders died last weekend. Until the maligners of specific trainers have all the statistics, I think it would be smarter to just express your sadness for Rosie and and filly. Some will say horses don’t choose to run. They should stand outside a pasture of TB foals and watch them race…. or studs in adjoining paddocks race the fence line. The first thing we should know is the weekly total of breakdowns, racing and training at every track, and oh, how about training facilities. Then our anger might be well based. RIP Socialbug

    • betterthannothing

      “They should stand outside a pasture of TB foals and watch them race…. or studs in adjoining paddocks race the fence line.”

      You cannot compare horses running in a paddock for fun and horses being forced to race with blinkers on, often with “pre-existing conditions”, on drugs, with tongue ties often wrapped too tight, carrying over 100 lbs on their back then being whipped to the wire to satisfy owners, trainers, gamblers and stewards that horses “give them all they’ve got” –and often more including their lives. Two different things.

      • tbpartner43

        Well said… points noted. I hate the whips… and all the other points made. If we truly knew all the statistics, it might make a difference in the almighty dollar.. might.. and race fans would take their bets elsewhere. But, athletes get hurt.

  • Ida Lee

    It’s heartbreaking when you lose a young athlete in such a horrific fashion. You can only hope that she didn’t suffer. RIP Socialbug. And Rosie, get well soon … you’re one of my very favorites. This sport is not for the weak of heart.

  • Linda Lewis

    I had 2 completely sound horses breakdown and have to be euthanized. One in a morning work and one if the afternoon.

    In the afternoon, the horse next to mine in the gate came out smashing into my horse sending him into a somersault and breaking his neck. It happens. The morning horse hit a bad spot on the track just as he changed leads and broke a shoulder. I have lost horses to illness that the vets just could not get under control twice. It is devastating emotionally and you remember every bit of it. Baffert has literally hundreds of horses, that much exposure can alter the perception of injury and fatal injury. There are a lot of people making judgements based on emotion without having any knowledge of the actuality.

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