Robbie Davis, who hasn’t ridden in a pari-mutuel horse race in nearly five years, will make his return to competitive riding Wednesday at Aqueduct. He will ride Dublin Green, a horse he owns and trains, in the fourth race, a maiden special race going six furlongs on the turf.
Davis 56, won 3,382 Thoroughbred races in a career that began in 1981. He left regular race riding in 2002 due to chronic knee pain. He rode one race in 2011 and five in 2013 in two aborted comeback attempts.
In 2010, Davis underwent knee replacement surgery. Davis said Saturday he feels “better than I have in the last 15, 20 years. Davis said he has his weight down to 124 pounds. If he’s a pound or two over come Wednesday, he hopes the connections understand.
“Hopefully,” Davis said with a laugh. “I’m good friends with them.”
Davis, who trains five horses of his own including Dublin Green, said he hopes Wednesday is the first step toward a return to regular race riding.
“I’m working out, I get on my Equicizer, I feel better than I ever have on that Equicizer,” Davis said. “I usually have a little pinch, a little pain, I have no pain. The last 10 years I rode, I rode in constant pain and I was drinking alcohol and that compounded it and made it worse, it was a downhill spiral and I was just miserable, strung out, haggard. Now I don’t have that, I’m not an alcoholic anymore, I’m pain free I’m fresh. I don’t have to worry about college tuition, high school tuition, it’s just my wife and I. If I don’t get this out of my system now I never will; I’m going to take it to my grave.”
Davis and his wife Marguerite have three children who are jockeys _ Dylan, Jackie and Katie _ and a fourth, Eddie, who is an exercise rider. While it is Robbie Davis’ dream to ride in a race with all of his children, none are named to ride in Wednesday’s fourth race. Dylan rides regularly at Aqueduct. Jackie rides at Penn National. Katie recently underwent shoulder surgery and hopes to return in August.