10/31/2014 8:04PM

Napravnik says she's pregnant, will retire

Barbara D. Livingston
Rosie Napravnik celebrates her Breeders' Cup Distaff victory Friday aboard Untapable.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Rosie Napravnik stunned the racing world Friday by announcing her retirement after she rides at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Napravnik, 26, said she is pregnant.

“I am announcing my retirement,” Napravnik said at a post-race press conference. “My husband Joe [Sharp] and I will start a family. His career is brand new and thriving, so it’s kind of good timing.”

Sharp, a former assistant to Mike Maker, launched his own stable in early September.

While Napravnik said she is leaving the saddle, the popular New Jersey native left open the possibility of a comeback.

“It’s indefinite,” she said. “I’m not thinking about a comeback in 10 months. I can’t promise to stay off horses forever. I’ve been planning my retirement since I found out I was pregnant. I’m about seven weeks’. My plan was to wait until after the weekend [to make the announcement].”

Napravnik has risen in prominence in recent years by winning races such as the Kentucky Oaks on Believe You Can in 2012 and this year on Untapable. Napravnik rose to prominence in 2006 when she was the leading rider in Maryland, a season in which she finished second to Julien Leparouxin in Eclipse Award balloting for outstanding apprentice jockey.

Napravnik was the leading rider at Delaware Park in 2010 and at Fair Grounds in 2011.

She announced her retirement plans on national television moments after winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Untapable, who has been her leading mount this year.

“I can’t think of a better way to go out,” Napravnik said. “I feel wonderful. Joe and I talked about it, and it’s a good thing.”

Untabable has won 6 of 7 starts this year, with Napravnik aboard for five of those wins.

“This filly has been special to me,” she said.

Napravnik is booked on four mounts on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup program at Santa Anita – Top Decile in the Juvenile Fillies, Emollient in the Filly and Mare Turf, Mico Margarita in the Sprint, and Tourist in the BC Mile.

She is not booked to ride Sunday.

– additional reporting by Marty McGee