I spoke with Dylan Davis, a second-generation jockey, who, at age 23, is making his mark on the New York racing scene.
We spoke about his family and, particularly, the three other family members who have put their feet in the stirrups on the NYRA and northeastern circuits.
Q: When did you first ride a horse?
A: Growing up in Saratoga Springs, New York, I rode my first horse at age seven. I am one of six children — three of them are jockeys. Of course, my dad, Robbie Davis, who is now a NYRA-based trainer, was a fixture on the NYRA circuit for many years.
Q: What was your first track job?
A: I mucked out stalls and walked hots for my dad.
Q: What trainer gave you your first mount?
A: Wesley Ward in 2012 at the Spa (Saratoga).
Q: First win as a rider?
A: I won my first race on Sept. 19, 2012, on a horse named Soldier Sam trained by Colin Sherwood at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Massachusetts.
Q: Who is your favorite horse?
A: Pat On the Back, trained by Kenny McPeek and owned by Mr. Lerner. Pat won my first stakes at Belmont Park in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes and also won the Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes.
Q: When was your first stakes win?
A: 2014 at Presque Isle Downs on a filly by Henny Hughes named Henny Jenny trained by William Connelly and owned by Mr. Schaeffer.
Q: Your favorite tracks?
A: Saratoga and Keeneland.
Q: Who was your hero as a teenager?
A: My dad. I always looked up to him and wanted to be just like him.
Q: Any words of encouragement to young men and women who would like to become riders?
A: It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be a jockey. You have to put 110% in everything you do. You never stop learning in this game — you learn something new every day. It’s an awesome sport and you do it every day because you love the sport.