Last year, as she came down the stretch of the Kentucky Oaks, Rosie Napravnik thought to herself, “Girl power.” She would have been the first woman to win the race for the top 3-year-old fillies, an event that in recent years has come to symbolize the fight against breast cancer. Her horse, St. John’s River, lost by a nose.

This year, she left know doubt. Believe You Can convincingly won a late duel against formidable jockey John Velazquez (on Broadway's Alibi), with Napravnik, a former Hereford student and top jockey in Maryland, extending her fist in celebration as she crossed the finish line.

She became emotional in her post-race interview. 

"I can't even tell you what it feels like," she said. "This is what it feels like when your dreams come true."




She began the week hoping to get another ride in the Kentucky Derby – she finished ninth last year on Pants on Fire, the best finish ever by a woman in that race – but her horse, Mark Valeski, was scratched.