Like Father, Like Daughter

A humdrum Saturday at Aqueduct became a moment in history when former jockey Robbie Davis won his first race as a trainer with Sandyinthesun, who took the seventh race by a nose at odds of 39-1.

Davis won the Jockey Club Gold Cup aboard Allen Jerkens’ Wagon Limit; he won the 1995 Sanford, Futurity, and Champagne with eventual juvenile male champion Maria’s Mon.

None of those victories, he said, compared to this maiden win, with a horse that he owns in partnership with Thomas Ponterella, a horse that they bought in Saratoga for $700, a horse that Davis himself rode at Belmont in October.

It wasn’t Davis in the irons on Saturday when Sandyinthesun got his nose on the wire. It was his daughter Jackie.

“To me, it’s better than any win I ever rode,” Davis said. “It’s unimaginable, the feeling.”

16 thoughts on “Like Father, Like Daughter

  1. What a satisfying story, Teresa. I know Robbie, have for more than thirty years; I’ve met Jackie, once at Saratoga Race Course the year she began to ride. Both are of a kind, super people on and off the track, and their shared joy that I can see in the above photo fits them perfectly. A beautifully written piece that brings their lives full-circle. Well done!

  2. This is amazing! I love Jackie, every time I’ve talked to her she’s been nothing but lovely, and I’m so happy to see something like this happen for her and her father. Thanks for the story!

  3. Nice to see good things happen to good people. Robbie has always been a gentleman. He never would snub his fans. I saw him with this horse at Saratoga. He was proud as bunch and more than proud as he put his daughter aboard. This certainly was a tear jerker and Digital moment. Thanks Teresa.

  4. Picture perfect for two classy riders and one classy trainer. I know it seems long ago but, Robbie you had some great rides in the past. I remember some of the ones on horses you road for P.G. Johnson, another class act. But, you’ve moved on. I’m glad your knee surgery was successful, and that you’re back in the sport! Always good to have classy people return the sport in which they worked so hard in, and were previously successful in. It sounds like you may get some more horses to train. Owners are always looking for classy trainers, who can give their horses the attention they need. This was definitely one of the feel good stories of the day. Congratulations on the win!

  5. Teresa, Another terrific and deserving post . In reviewing your significant work over the past few months, I took note that Firenze and Discovery raced 145 times. In the money 124 times. Very impressive, as is your win percentage but they both probably had a clunker or two. Your clunker was the Dutrow entry.

    Your man Dutrow is appealing his punishment and training up a storm. John Veitch is appealing his punishment and clipping coupons. I don’t think there is any question whose contribution to the game is more positively significant.

    Maybe this turn of events needs some discussion.

  6. Maybe Good things do happen to good people…I met Jackie Davis way back when she was busing tables at a restaurant in Saratoga. Her goal was to be a jockey and after a few minutes of conversation with her I had no doubt she had what it takes to achieve that goal.

  7. Great event, Great story. it’s too bad ESPN or the fledgling “NBC Sports Network” (AKA Versus) couldn’t put together a short segment on this. Truly what racing is about, passing the torch from one generation to the next. It’s not all about doping & dollars.

  8. It was great fun to be there to see it. I watched from the press box, and there was a figure in a blue jacket on the main track watching, and as the horses came into the stretch, the figure began jumping up and down, pumping his arms — “Who is that lunatic?” I wondered aloud.

    The “lunatic” was Robbie Davis, and every time I’ve watched the replay, I still don’t believe that Jackie won. Even she said after the race, “I didn’t think I won!”

    Glad you all enjoyed it, too.

    Bob, I’ll never characterize advocating for fairness as a “clunker,” but thanks for reading.


  9. Great piece, nice work, would have never known if not for this site. Thanks for covering a good side of racing (and racing history) and for giving a story the proper acknowledgement it deserves.

  10. Really happy for Robbie and Jackie. I just wish my handicapping had picked up on that horse. Great ride by Jackie. I’m still looking for the horse in The Form. I’ll mark this one down to divine intervention.

  11. I know Robbie from the old days. He was a class act as a rider and person. It looks like Jackie is following in his foot steps. Congratulations and good luck to you both in the future.

  12. I’ve looked at your photo again, and again, and again. I’ve thought about how you must have felt standing so near this victorious father and daughter during their moment of supreme happiness, and I have breathed deeply. You’re a very lucky person, Teresa, to have participated so closely in their joy and I envy your experience.

    • I almost didn’t go downstairs after they won the race, and at the last minute, I decided it would be silly not to. I grabbed everything – recorder, program, camera – and dashed down, and Robbie was already talking. I was fumbling with all the equipment, and somehow, somehow when Jackie came over, I was in a position to grab that. I knew when I took it that the timing had somehow worked; it came out even better than I’d hoped. It was incredible to be there, and I’m thrilled that the power of the moment comes across.

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