How a Horse Jockey Spends Her Sundays

If it’s Sunday, Katie Davis McCarthy is probably riding the country’s top thoroughbred horses at upward of 40 miles per hour, clad in colorful racing silks and — more often than she would like to admit — covered in mud.

Ms. Davis, 32, is the only female rider regularly competing in the New York Racing Association, and last summer she was the only woman to win at Saratoga Race Course, finishing first in seven races.

“Sometimes I just have a feeling,” she said. “I’ll be this huge long shot at 75 to 1, and I just know I’m going to win.”

After taking time off for maternity leave, she returned in 2023 and collected nearly $2.4 million in prize money, the most in her career. On Sundays, she competes at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, often against her husband, Trevor McCarthy, 29, and her brother Dylan Davis, 30.

The competitiveness carries over into the household. Sometimes her brother hosts game nights. “Oh, yeah, when we play cards, let me tell you: If the table wasn’t so heavy, we’d flip it over,” she said.

Ms. Davis lives in a multifamily home in the town of Elmont on Long Island with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter, Riley.

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