Friday, March 3, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 3, 2006 . . . Trainer Janet Davidson earned her first career win Friday night when Walleye Joe broke his maiden in Turfway Park’s fourth race, a six-furlong event for maiden claimers. It was the 16th career start for Walleye Joe but his first start for Davidson. The horse is owned by Davidson’s husband, Frederick Davidson, who bought the five-year-old gelding privately from Lucian Anderson about three months ago.
Before Friday’s race, Walleye Joe had not run since September 2005. He had been running at the $5,000 level but was in Friday for a $15,000 tag. The longest shot in the field at 51-1, he paid $104.20 for the win.
Davidson, who trains her string at Turfway, had no experience in racing when she moved to the sport from the hunter/jumper world about a year and a half ago. “It’s been a long, hard road,” she said. “I am absolutely delighted, and a little bit in shock. I knew he had a lot of heart. What a treat.”
Walleye Joe was out of the gate first under apprentice jockey Victor Lebron and then briefly dropped back to third. He retook the lead by a head at the half and determinedly held that margin all the way to the wire.
Walleye Joe was Davidson’s fourth starter of the Winter/Spring Meet.