Raising Racing Kids: Twelve Notable Racetrack Moms

Pop Culture
Former jockey Taylor (Rice) Ortiz, second from left, is now a mother to Leilani. (Eclipse Sportswire)

On this Mother’s Day, we’re taking a minute to acknowledge some of racing’s most recognizable moms, including a few women who’ve just recently become mothers, and celebrate all moms in the industry. The dedication required to be a “racing mom” is unmatched, so thank you!

Taylor Ortiz: Formerly a jockey, Taylor is married to Eclipse Award-winning rider Jose Ortiz. Just last week, they posted on Twitter that they are expecting their second child. Last year, they had their first child, a baby girl named Leilani.

Abby Castellano: The wife of leading national rider Javier Castellano, Abby has spent a lifetime in racing as the daughter of the national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild and former NYRA president Terry Meyocks. Castellano is a mother to three children, Kayla, Sienna, and Brady.

Tammy Fox: A former jockey, Tammy is an exercise rider for her partner, trainer Dale Romans. She is also the mother of their two children, Bailey and Jake.

Shea Leparoux: A professional singer who used to perform at Disney, Shea regularly sings the national anthem at major racing events. Married to jockey Julien Leparoux, Shea is a mother to their two children.

Rosie Napravnik: She’s one of the most successful female jockeys in the history of horse racing, despite being just 30 years old and having retired three years ago to start a family. Napravnik and her husband Joe Sharp have two little boys, Carson and Tucker.

Rosie Napravnik, husband Joe Sharp, and son Carson in the Saratoga winner's circle.
Rosie Napravnik, husband Joe Sharp, and son Carson in the Saratoga winner's circle. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Marylou Whitney: One of racing’s most accomplished figures, Marylou Whitney is also a mother to five. In addition to her success in breeding and racing her own horses — including winning the Belmont Stakes in 2004 with Birdstone — Whitney is considered one of the most philanthropic personalities in the sport.

Anita Motion: Along with her husband Graham, Anita runs Herringswell Stable out of Fair Hill, Md. She’s an outspoken advocate for Thoroughbred aftercare. Anita is also the mother of two children, Jane and Marcus.

Leona O’Brien: The daughter of horse trainer Leo O’Brien, Leona is married to now two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey John Velazquez. She is also the mother of two, a daughter named Lerina and a son named Michael Patrick.

Maggie Wolfendale Morley: The popular TV host and racing analyst for the New York Racing Association, Maggie and her husband, trainer Tom Morley, welcomed their first child in November of 2016 — a baby girl named Grace.

Christina Blacker: Christina has been a staple in racing TV for a decade, having worked for HRTV and TVG. The analyst and host has three children with her husband, trainer Dan Blacker.

Linda Gaudet: For years, Linda operated an extremely successful racing operation in Maryland with her husband Eddie. Their daughter Lacey has emerged as a successful trainer on the circuit, and youngest daughter Gabby is a popular racing analyst and TV presenter at tracks up and down the East Coast. 

Angie Stevens: The wife of Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, Angie is a talent manager for athletes, actors, and other entertainers. Angie is also a mother to Maddie Stevens, an 8-year-old girl who has served as a roving “Inside Scoop” kids’ reporter for Breeders’ Cup.

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