Thursday, November 06, 2008
AQUEDUCT NOTES, Nov. 5, 2008
It may have been a routine 1 1/16th mile claimer on the turf, but Jackie Davis will always remember Wednesday’s fifth race at Aqueduct Racetrack for a very special reason – it marked her first-ever victory as a professional jockey.
The 21-year-old Davis, the daughter of retired rider Robbie Davis, entered the winner’s circle on her 33rd mount after piloting 64-1 shot Blue Hill Bay, owned by Chris Nolan and trained by Scott Everett, to a wire-to-wire, three-quarter length victory over Pay Wright.
Davis, who has been working as exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens in the mornings, made her professional debut at Saratoga Race Course on August 31, finishing 11th. One of six children, Davis said her father, a winner of more than 3,000 career races and a regular in New York, spoke with her before the race to give her some advice.
“He told me the horse would want to be in front,” she said.
After the race, the 4-foot-10, 104-pound Davis was greeted with applause from the fans and then was subjected to the traditional dousing of water by her fellow jockeys.
* * *
Saturday’s feature race will be the 49th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith Handicap for three-year-olds and up at 11 furlongs on the turf.
Probables are restricted stakes winner Al Basha, Always First, winner of the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland, Hard Top (IRE), third in her American debut on October 2 and Belmont Park, Lauro (GER), winner of Woodbine’s Grade 2 Sky Classic, Presious Passion, winner of the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park back in July, Strike a Deal, runner-up by a neck in the United Nations, Summer Patriot, third in Belmont Park’s Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational and Wheels up at Noon, second in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger at The Meadowlands.
There is a possibility that Formal Decree (GER), fresh off a three-length victory in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Handicap here on October 25, could run back, as well as Interpatation, who was seventh in the Knickerbocker.
* * *
Local community groups, backstretch workers, church organizations and employees of the New York Racing Association will be teaming up on Saturday, November 8 in the first Elmont Cleanup Day.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino, and Nassau County Legislator John Ciotti are among the government officials scheduled to launch the cleanup effort, set to begin at 10 a.m., rain or shine. With Belmont Park’s Marquee Tent serving as operations base, groups of volunteers will work together to beautify the stretch of Hempstead Turnpike that runs east from the Cross Island Parkway past Meachem Avenue. In addition to tee-shirts for each volunteer and signage prominent throughout the surrounding communities, NYRA is providing buses to transport the workers to six locations on both sides of the road.
“NYRA is proud to serve as a community partner to the Elmont community and we support their efforts toward the implementation of their vision plan,” said Joanne K. Adams, NYRA’s Community Relations Manager.
The Elmont Chamber of Commerce, the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development and the Elmont Community Council Coalition, Nassau County, the Town of Hempstead and NYRA are among the entities that have come together to make possible a vision for revitalizing Elmont, known as the Gateway to Nassau, as well as the State Bank of Long Island which provided a $5,000 grant toward the effort.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.