Friday, October 31, 2008


At age 19, Maylan Studart has already dabbled in more professions than most people twice her age.

She has worked as an actress, model and stuntwoman and nearly went pro as a wakeboarder. But it is atop a horse, racing 35 mph into the wind that Studart has found her niche.

The Brazilian apprentice jockey lit up the tote board at the Meadowlands this week when she finished second by a neck with Voodooyouthinkur, a 90-1 shot, in the sixth race on Monday. That momentum continued as she finished third with Chicago's Girl in the Tuesday opener and upset Wednesday's seventh race at Belmont with Decorated Court, who paid $104 to win.

From the time she was 14, Studart knew she wanted to be a jockey, but she had to wait two years before she could be accepted into the local riding school in Rio de Janeiro. Limited by the racing opportunities in Brazil, she left home to race at Calder this summer. She won 10 races there, two of which where on her first day at the track. She also picked up her first stakes win on Sept. 6 with Got Clearance in the Lindsay Frolic Stakes. Studart is splitting her time between the Meadowlands and Belmont this fall.

"Riding is what I want to do," Studart said. "It's something that's a part of me. I love this area. This is where I want to stay. In Brazil, there weren't many opportunities for me to ride and prove myself. Manoel Cruz [a top rider on the Florida circuit] has helped me a great deal. He kind of took me under his wing. You can't do it in this world, especially in this business, without some help. He's been wonderful to me and has opened up some doors."

Studart first moved to the United States when she was seven years old and settled in Los Angeles. They returned to Brazil in 2000 after the passing of her stepfather.

"We went back home when my stepfather passed away, but it's been a goal of mine to be in horse racing," she said of moving back to the United States. "It's something that is in me. I want to pursue it and I know this area is tough. The best riders in the world are right here, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I want to stay right here."

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