When the Hawthorne spring thoroughbred racing meet returns on Friday, jockey Inez Karlsson will be joining Handicapper Jim Miller on-air to offer analysis and insight on the local races.
Karlsson, 27, is an expectant mother and has been away from the saddle since September. With the birth of her child due in July, Karlsson is able to stay around the races during the pregnancy before she returns to riding this fall or next spring.
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As a jockey who has direct contact with many of the riders, Karlsson will provide unique insight in several areas, including: the pre-race handicapping show, between race analysis, jockey and trainer interviews, and will also contribute to live chats on HorseplayerNow.com during the Hawthorne meet.
The native of Sweden, Karlsson began her riding career in 2007 and finished second in the voting for the Eclipse Award as leading apprentice for 2008, narrowly losing out to Paco Lopez that year. Karlsson was the leading rider for the 2008 fall meet at Hawthorne, winning the $100,000 Indian Maid Handicap about Caio for trainer Frank Kirby. This past summer, Karlsson rode Rahystrada to victory in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap and was aboard that mount in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, finishing fourth. She also pulled the upset in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap aboard Country Flavor.
On her career, Karlsson has had 418 victories from 3,027 mounts for earnings of $8,529,324.
Although I can't be riding races right now, I am still able to walk horses in the morning for Frank Kirby and now I can be here in the afternoon as well," Karlsson said. "I am not expecting to be an expert handicapper, but Jim and I will have fun on the air and hopefully I can give some insight that will help the bettors in making their selections."
"Inez has had a great riding career already and I'm looking forward to her winning many more races as a jockey," said Hawthorne President Tim Carey. "Inez and Jim should make our racing production very enjoyable all meet long."
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 102nd year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne will race only Friday and Saturday in February starting with this weekend. In March and April, live racing will take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through the end of April. First post daily is 1:30 p.m.
For more information, visit Hawthorneracecourse.com.