In her fourth mount, apprentice Rosie Higgins broke her maiden in the second race at Santa Anita Park Feb. 11 aboard Blue Law.
With her husband—Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux—looking on in civilian attire, Higgins sat a close second at the rail behind pacesetter Gavination around the far turn and took command turning for home to win by three lengths. She finished the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.46.
“It was awesome,” said the 31-year-old who was raised on a farm in eastern Ohio. “I was a little worried there for a moment, I just didn’t want (Gavination) to close the door, but we were able to get through. I just said ‘Come on sweetie,’ and we got through just fine. Hopefully, it helps my career a little bit. I understand that I’m new. I know I’m still green and I know how trainers feel, because I’ve been in their position. Hopefully, it helps and I keep moving up.”
Trained by Bob Hess Jr., Blue Law went off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of eight older maidens in for a $20,000 claiming tag.
“This was her third time riding for me,” said Hess, who legged Higgins up for a fourth-place finish on Blue Law Jan. 23. “She’s very patient and is very mindful of doing things right—of doing what is right by the horse. She’s got great balance and she’s totally into what she’s doing. This is great.”
A ten-pound apprentice, Higgins, according to California racing rules, will remain an apprentice jockey for a period of one year from the date of her fifth winner, or when she wins her 40th race.
Although Higgins is now some 5,711 wins behind him, Desormeaux said that immediately following the race, he received a text message that read, “Congratulations, Mr. Higgins.”