02/22/2006 12:00AM

Philadelphia track report


Who's the hottest female apprentice rider in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Rosie Napravnik, the 18-year-old runaway leader in the standings at Laurel Park, is certainly the obvious answer. But Philadelphia Park has a sizzling female apprentice of its own in Maria Charles.

Between last Saturday and Tuesday, Charles went 7 for 20 with her mounts, a 35-percent hit rate. She was in the money with 60 percent of her horses, and importantly from a bettor's standpoint, she produced a $5.65 return on investment.

Charles rode the winner in the first race on Philly Park's program on three consecutive days - Saturday with Queen's Folly ($10.20), Sunday aboard Northend ($41.80), and Monday on L B Spitfire ($10). The streak ended when she finished third on Timopocus in Tuesday's first race.

Charles rode her first career winner at Penn National in October 2004 and her fifth winner in January 2005. She is still riding with the five-pound apprentice allowance because she missed nearly three months from mid-June to Sept. 10 after sustaining a broken collarbone in a spill at Philly Park.

* The Deputy Is Home, the 8-year-old horse for the course, raised his record at Philly Park to 6 for 8 when he scored a one-length victory in a six-furlong optional claiming race Tuesday. Although he was entered for the $32,000 optional claiming price, The Deputy Is Home went untaken. He was claimed by trainer Keith LeBarron two starts ago for $25,000 after winning three in a row while in the barn of Jayne Vaders.