08/17/2013 4:41PM

Saratoga: Robbie Davis trains first Spa winner

Michael Amoruso
Robbie Davis and his daughter, Katherine, after his horse, Sandyinthesun, was declared the winner of a photo finish.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Eleven years after recording his last win as a rider at Saratoga, Robbie Davis recorded his first win as a trainer at the Spa when Sandyinthesun ($49.20) nosed out fellow 23-1 shot Lure of the South in Saturday’s 8th race.

“I never thought I’d win another race at Saratoga when I hung it up in ‘02,” Davis, 52, said in a celebratory winner’s circle. “To raise this colt outside of town on Stone Church Rd.; we paid $700 for him [as a yearling] in the October mixed sale, gave him a lot of time to grow up and he keeps showing up. He’s 6 now, but we’re having a hell of a lot of fun with him.”

Davis’s last trip to the Saratoga winner’s circle came as a jockey on Aug 24, 2002 when he rode 46-1 shot Atfirst Blush to a debut victory.

Sandyinthesun is now responsible for all three victories in Davis’s training career which began in 2011. He won by a nose at Aqueduct on Dec. 3, 2011, with Robbie’s daughter, Jackie in the irons. He also won by a neck at Belmont in October, 2012.

“That’s the only way this could have been any better - if Jackie were here,” Davis said.

Jackie Davis was riding at Suffolk on Saturday while her brother Dylan - Robbie’s son - was named on mounts at both Ellis Park and Indiana Downs.

Robbie Davis, who rode 3,382 winners in his career, retired as jockey due to knee pain and tried to make a comeback a few years ago, but was unable to sustain it. Junior Alvarado rode Sandyinthesun on Saturday.

“For me to ride one a month is too hard,” Davis said. “When they asked if anybody wants dessert, I used to go out there and slam my hand in the car door.”