Kathy Davey is a lifelong horse lover, and now a successful racehorse owner, trainer and breeder.

“I’ve loved horses and horse racing since as far back as I can remember. I distinctly remember feeling this way even as a 3-year-old,” Davey said. “When I finished graduate school and went to work at a high school in Southeastern Pennsylvania, I became friends with a science teacher who also trained at the track now known as Parx.”

Decades later, as Davey was watching racing in her living room in Vermont, she heard the familiar name, Milton Wolfson, as the winning trainer of a race in Florida. 

“I was planning a trip to the spring training to see my beloved Boston Red Sox play and made a side trip to visit him and see his very respected and successful operation. Soon after, I moved to Florida and became his partner and assistant trainer. I had been involved in showing and breaking 2-year-olds in my teens, and eventing in my twenties and thirties. But becoming immersed in the racing world was an unexpected life change.

“Now, I love it. Milton was one of the best, old-school, hands-on trainers. He taught me well and directed me to write everything down in a little black notebook.”

During her days as assistant trainer, she had a number of memorable Florida-bred stakes winners including Annabill. Bred by Peter Fuller, the multiple stakes-winning mare amassed 18 career wins, 10 seconds and six thirds in 56 starts earning $709,200.

She later went to Calumet for broodmare duties.

Davey and Wolfson also had Florida-bred multiple stakes-winner Yourdreamsormine, a fan favorite out of the Bridlewood Farm mare Fly Apple Shu by Florida Horse of the Year Forbidden Apple. The gelding sold twice at Ocala Breeder Sales and ran until he was seven, ending with an record of eight wins, 11 seconds and five thirds in 49 starts with earnings of $461,796.

Florida-bred Bernie The Maestro, a winner on turf and dirt, was bred by Sabine Stable. He started 74 times, winning 18 with 12 seconds, 11 thirds and amassing $694,317 in earnings.

Wolfson purchased him for $25,000 at the 2009 OBS Spring Sale out of the Sabine Stables consignment.

Successful turf runner Trip for A. J. was yet another runner she was connected to.

“We also had an exceptionally fast sprinter, Florida-bred Extravagant Kid, who was bred and owned by Vicino Racing Stables, and went on to win graded and international stakes all over the world for trainer Brendan Walsh and DARRS, Inc. 

We also have retired many horses from racing who went on to shine in their new careers. One stand-out is Bazillion Bells, who was not so great at the racetrack, but who loves his quite successful show jumping and eventing career with new owner and rider Kaitlin Hartford from Callahan, Fla.” Davey said.

After Wolfson passed away in 2020, Davey struck out on her own as an owner, trainer. 

“The ‘ups’ can be fleeting, and the ‘downs’ seem to go on forever,” Davey said of racehorse ownership. 

“However, I still pinch myself sometimes walking to the track in the early morning training hours, feeling so lucky to be doing what I’m doing. 

“After a forgettable 2023 racing season, I was fortunate to sell a Florida-bred filly, It’s Satisfactual, out of my mare Yes It’s Factual, at the March OBS sale through de Meric Sales for $220,000—which saved my pocketbook. I plan to sell a yearling colt by Girvin, out of that same mare, at upcoming Keeneland September. 

“Hope springs eternal for 2024 as I was fortunate to win first time out with homebred Awesome Beast, by The Big Beast, by a wide margin and look forward with some confidence—and crossed fingers—to his continued success. Also, I’m running my homebred 2-year-old filly by Jess’s Dream, Jessica’s Dream, in the coming weeks.”

Today, Davey keeps a smaller stable of about five horses and plans to continue her breeding program. 

“I have a great team. Everyone works hard, and we look forward to a good year. My two broodmares are still healthy and hopefully in foal, and I have one new foal who just might be the winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2027.”

Return to the June 18 issue of Wire to Wire