Four all-female races make up the competition at Camarero Race Track in Puerto Rico
Katie Davis in the winner’s circle after winning aboard Diva Banker Dec. 3, 2022. (Walter-Wlodarczyk)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Jockeys Katie and Jackie Davis, both regular riders on the NYRA circuit, will head to Puerto Rico on Sunday to compete in Camarero Race Track’s 2nd annual Jockette Challenge, a multi-race competition for female jockeys on the eight-race card.
The Jockette Challenge, which was first contested in March 2020, returns after being canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 17 women have been invited to participate in the four all-female races that make up the competition. The top-five finishers will receive points on a 15-10-7-4-2 scale with the winner determined by the jockey who has scored the most points. A trophy will be presented to the winner at the conclusion of the card.
“I’m all for women riding races and pushing to keep striving forward,” said Katie Davis, whose five North American victories this year include a stakes triumph aboard Funny How in the Broadway at Aqueduct. “A lot of females in the sport are up against each other because we’re all competing, but if we can stick together, we can move further along.”
Jackie Davis has also won five races this year, led by a strong allowance optional claiming victory on January 5 aboard Easy to Bless, who she rides again in Saturday’s $100,000 Correction at the Big A.
Jackie said she is looking forward to competing against both the seasoned veterans and the next generation of female riders.
“I get really excited about going to new places and environments and seeing how they ride there,” Jackie said. “It’s very empowering to ride with all women and with some of the bug girls coming out of the school.”
The challenge was co-founded by retired jockey Wilfredo “Willie” Lozano, Jr., who is now an instructor at the Escuela Vocacional Hipica Agustin Mercado Reveron Jockey School at Camarero, located in Canóvanas.
Lozano, Jr. won 967 races in his career and met Jackie when they were riding together at Suffolk Downs. He invited her and Katie to compete and represent the mainland’s talented pool of female jockeys, a group who continue to inspire the growing number of young women enrolling in Camarero’s jockey school.
“I invited them because they’re doing really good and we wanted to invite women from the States, too,” said Lozano, Jr. “We didn’t have the challenge in 2021 and 2022, but we’re going to do it this year and next year and try to keep it going. We have eight women in the school with two graduating this year and six next year. The colony of women is growing, and every year more come to the school. They’ve been watching more and more women involved in the sport and they’ve become interested in it.”
Jackie said she feels privileged to meet and help teach students in the school.
“Willie told me a lot of these girls follow me on Instagram and look up to us,” said Jackie. “Katie and I are engaged in our own careers and sometimes we don’t realize how well we’ve done, so being able to take a step back and be a role model is very exciting.”
Katie is slated to ride in Races 1 [No. 3, Knievel] and 7 [No. 7, Dulce Mariana] on Sunday with Jackie set to ride in Races 1 [No. 1, Ninetydaysofwinter], 4 [No. 1, Ofrenda] and 7 [No. 5, Vida Real]. Other mainland jockeys on the card include Carol Cedeno and Rebecca LaBarre.
“It’s all come together, and I want to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Katie. “I’ve ridden with Carol Cedeno, and I rode with Rebecca LaBarre in Maryland. I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, so I’m going to enjoy it.”
Jackie echoed her sister’s sentiments and said she looks forward to reuniting with some of their old friends.
“Katie and I feel like kids again riding lately. Carol and Rebecca are good friends of ours and I haven’t ridden with them in a long time,” said Jackie. “It’s going to be an amazing opportunity and a great way to promote women in racing.”