Following in the footsteps of his father Robbie and
sister Jackie, 18-year-old apprentice jockey Dylan Davis made his
riding debut at Saratoga Race Course Monday afternoon.
Cheered on by family members and friends, Davis finished
fourth aboard Black Rhino after pressing the pace in race 4, a
six-furlong claimer, and then crossed the finish line eighth aboard
favored Fierce in a 5 ½-furlong maiden claimer.
Both mounts were trained by Wesley Ward, for whom Davis
gallops horses in the morning. His first mount was supposed to have
been aboard the Robbie Davis-trained Sandyinthesun, but the horse was
scratched from race 2.
“It was very exciting, the whole crowd and everything,”
said Davis, a 2011 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. “You
can’t get any better than Saratoga. It was a lot tougher than I
thought; I’ve been galloping horses for almost two years, and this is
nothing like it. It’s a whole different game.”
The 104-pound Davis – the youngest of Robbie and
Marguerite’s six children – said he hopes to ride one or two horses a
week during the meet with his 10-pound weight allowance. In the fall,
he plans to move his tack to Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts, where his
sister is currently riding, and after that, the siblings plan to ride
at Aqueduct Racetrack during the winter.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years now,” said Davis. “Everything I know I’ve learned from my father.”
Robbie Davis, for 20 years a mainstay on The New York
Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit with 3,382 winners, is
currently a trainer living in Saratoga. Jackie Davis, a 25-year-old
graduate of the Chris McCarron’s North American Racing Academy, has
ridden 259 winners of more than $4.1 million since making her riding
debut at Saratoga in 2008.