08/12/2017 3:10PM

Jockey Dylan Davis scores double: Becomes dad, wins race

Barbara D. Livingston
Dylan Davis, 22, and his girlfriend Sara Rowland named their first child Michael Dylan.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Dylan Davis had quite the memorable Saturday at Saratoga. Five hours after he became a father for the first time, he rode Oskar Blues to a 33-1 upset in the second race.

Davis’ girlfriend, Sara Rowland, gave birth at 8:30 a.m. to the couple’s first child, a son whom they named Michael Dylan. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

Davis wasn’t scheduled to ride until Saturday’s third race. But when jockey Robby Albarado had travel issues, he couldn’t arrive on time to ride Oskar Blues, so trainer Ken McPeek named Davis to ride.

In a field of nine 2-year-old colts, Oskar Blues, breaking from the rail, and Airtouch, a first-time starter from Todd Pletcher's powerful barn who was breaking from post 2, alternated on the lead from the outset. It looked like Airtouch had the measure of Oskar Blues in the stretch, but Oskar Blues battled back to win by a nose in an extremely close photo.

“My horse is a fighter, I was contemplating taking back because there was a little extra pressure on the outside, but the way he broke and I knew [from] the morning he needed that extra pressure,” said Davis, who does work horses regularly for McPeek. “I just put him right into the spot and he folded in great and he fought on. I thought Johnny had me, but he found a little extra the last three jumps and he just got the job done.”

Davis, 22, said the last 24 hours have been a bit of a whirlwind.

“I didn’t get too much sleep last night,” Davis said. “I can’t explain it because it’s one special thing after another. When I won this race I was thinking of my son already jumping on with me helping me out.”

Davis is the son of retired jockey Robbie Davis. Robbie’s sisters, Jacqueline and Katie, are both jockeys. Sara Rowland is an assistant to trainer Danny Gargan. Dylan Davis said his son will undoubtedly follow the family footsteps into the Thoroughbred business.“

It’s in his pedigree - both sides - he’s not going to get away from it,” Davis said.