The 22-year-old McCarthy came from behind to take six winners over the past three days during closing weekend at Baltimore-based Pimlico Race Course to earn his second consecutive meet title in Maryland this season.
Live racing moves from Pimlico to Laurel Park beginning this Friday, July 1.
“It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling, especially because I missed a lot of days this meet,” he said. “I was able to ship out and ride some good horses, and to be able to do both means a lot.”
McCarthy entered Sunday’s nine-race program tied with Victor Carrasco at 26 wins, with Feargal Lynch and Jevian Toledo right behind with 25.
McCarthy had three wins on Friday and Sunday apiece, giving him a meet total of 29, three ahead of Carrasco and Toledo, which both finished the meet with 26 wins. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, riding full-time in Maryland for the first time in 18 years, finished in a three-way tie for fifth with 13 wins.
“We have a good colony here, I think. Everybody wants to win and everybody wants to ride a good race. Everybody wants to be on the good horses, hustles hard and works in the mornings. It all came down to the last couple weeks,” McCarthy said. “Victor, Toledo, Feargal, Edgar (Prado), I’ve learned a lot from them and I just want to thank all of them for kind of pushing me to do better and ride better and pay attention to what they’re doing. Especially Edgar, he’s come here (Pimlico) and I’ve learned so much just watching him. He’s a great role model to look up to and we’re privileged to have him here.”
Maryland’s leading rider in 2014, McCarthy edged Carrasco, 66-60, to win Laurel Park’s winter-spring meet that preceded Pimlico.
“I couldn’t have done it without the trainers and owners; my agent Scotty (Silver) has done a great job. We had an awesome weekend this weekend,” he said. “I just want to say thank you to all them, all the grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, everybody that really takes part in the barn to get the horses ready and give me the privilege to ride them. When you’re riding good horses, you’re going to win a lot of races.”
By Lou Monaco (@loumonaco)