On Thursday, trainer Bob Baffert announced that Napravnik will mount Code West in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 after connections to Mylute decided Wednesday to pull the horse out of the race. Napravnik rode Mylute in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown, finishing fifth in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness. She also rode Code West to victory in the race after the Preakness, finishing comfortably in front of the pack.
Napravnik will try to become just the second female to win the Belmont Stakes. Julie Krone, who won the race 20 years ago on Colonial Affair, is the only female jockey to win a Triple Crown race.
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Orb returns to track
Kentucky Derby winner Orb got his first workout in at the Belmont Park main track Thursday morning in preparation for the Belmont Stakes on June 8. Though Orb hasn’t committed to the race yet, trainer Shug McGaughey is positive that the colt will be ready after watching exercise rider Jennifer Patterson take the colt out for his regular 6 a.m. ride.
“I was pleased,” McGaughey told reporters Thursday. “We’re taking it as it comes and not looking too far ahead. But if everything goes well, we’d like to run in the Belmont.”
Orb is likely to be joined by Preakness winner Oxbow, and Derby finishers Golden Soul (runner up), Revolutionary (third place), Giant Finish (10th), Overanalyze (11th), and Palace Malice (12th). Other possible starters, according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing Association, Inc., are Freedom Child, Peter Pan Stakes winner, and Unlimited Budget, third in the Kentucky Oaks.