BALTIMORE - Back in the day, these pioneers battled alone while trying to make their way in a male-dominated sport. On Friday, eight of them rode together and everybody won.
Barbara Jo Rubin, 60; Mary Russ Tortora, 56; Gwen Jocson, 43; Jennifer Rowland Small, 57; Andrea Seefeldt Knight, 47; Cheryl White, 56; P.J. Cooksey, 52, and Mary Wiley Wagner, 46, competed in the Lady Legends for the Cure Race. Pink was the predominant color as Pimlico contributed to the fight against breast cancer, which Cooksey and Wiley Wagner have beaten.
"What's special about it is being a breast cancer survivor and bringing awareness," Cooksey said.
Jocson, riding Honor in Peace, won the first-ever pari-mutuel event for retired female riders by 2¾ lengths. "I won my first race and my last," said Jocson, who began riding in 1989. "I felt like I was on a rocket, and I'm lucky I didn't fall off around the eighth pole. It makes you want to come back to riding."'
Leparoux hurt in spill
Kent Desormeaux and Julien Leparoux were thrown from their mounts during Friday's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Fanny Salmon, an HRTV producer, said Leparoux suffered a broken tooth and was experiencing chest pains, but had no broken bones and was expected to ride Pleasant Prince in Saturday's Preakness.
The mishap occurred after CCs Pal had her heels clipped by Diva Delight, ridden by Leparoux. Desormeaux, who did not appear to be injured, was riding a trailing horse. The race was won by Acting Happy, who paid $22.20.