02/03/2009 1:00AM

Keeping promise, Davis now daughter's agent


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Robbie Davis arrived in the Aqueduct racing office last Friday prepared for his first post position draw in his new career as a jockey agent. Unbeknown to Davis, under Aqueduct's new entry schedule, there was no draw that day.

"I got a lot to learn," Davis said.

Perhaps. But as the winner of 3,382 races and the rider of horses that earned $115 million in purses during a 22-year career, Davis has a lot to teach as well. And who better to share his wisdom with than his own daughter Jackie, who began riding last year.

Davis, 47, became his daughter's agent last week in part because of a promise he made to her 2 1/2 years ago. When Jackie Davis, 21, told her dad about her desire to become a jockey, she said she wanted him to be his agent. The elder Davis, comfortable in retirement in upstate New York, said he would do it only if his daughter would attend a jockey school, gallop horses for a trainer of his choice, and win five races in New York.

Jackie Davis obeyed. She attended Chris McCarron's North American Riding Academy in Lexington, Ky., galloped horses for a year for Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, and on Jan. 4, she won her fifth race in New York.

"They hadn't even run the replay yet and she was on the phone, 'Dad, you know what this means,' " Davis said.

Davis said he held off for three weeks before agreeing to his daughter's request. Coincidentally, Davis won her sixth race last Thursday, the day her father arrived from upstate New York. In a colony that has nine apprentices in addition to a bevy of talented journeymen, Davis has gone 3 for 50 during the inner-track meet.

Jackie Davis said the choice of her father as her agent was a no-brainer.

"I grew up with him, he can help me progress as a rider, and it's my dad," she said. "Who else can you trust?"

Robbie Davis said that initially he wished his daughter would have been a schoolteacher. But he also knew that when she puts her mind to doing something, she usually gets it done. While Davis says he's more nervous watching his daughter ride than he ever was in the saddle himself, he's looking forward to working with her.

"I sleep about three or four hours a night, I'm just so excited," he said. "I've gotten a real nice response from the trainers on the backside. We'll work on her; she's got a long way to go, but she tries. It's going to be a challenge, a challenge for me mentally. My heart keeps pounding."

Davis last rode in 2002. The last few months that he rode, he had pain in his knee. He had hoped that rest would make it better, but it didn't. He said he knew he was done "when I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs."

At that point, Davis had to decide whether to pack up his wife and six children and move back to his native Idaho or to upstate New York. He and his wife, Marguerite, chose Middle Grove, N.Y., a town about five miles from Saratoga where they live on a farm.

Jackie Davis may not be the only member of the family that follows in the father's bootstraps. Katie, 17, and Dylan, 15, are small enough and light enough, and have shown an interest in riding.

"I guess all those diapers and bottles were worth it," Davis said.

Dutrow brothers live in features

Training brothers Tony and Richard Dutrow have a chance to split Thursday's co-featured starter allowance sprints.

In the third, for colts and geldings, Tony Dutrow sends out Charging Hero, who has a win and four seconds from his last five starts. Last out, he was making a run at Make the Point, only to fall a half-length short while finishing eight lengths clear of the field.

The Truffle Man, who gets a rider switch to Ramon Dominguez, and Banking Holiday, who is 2 for 2, loom as the major threats.

In the eighth, Richard Dutrow sends out Starship Cruiser, who was forced go five wide and had to settle for second in a spot similar to this. Tis Cactus Nellie was fourth in the same race as Starship Cruiser after stumbling badly at the break.