Apprentice McCarthy Takes Laurel Jockey Title
The Laurel Park's winter meeting ended March 29 with apprentice jockey Trevor McCarthy taking the jockey title and four conditioners sharing the trainer title.
Trainers Hugh McMahon, Juan Vazquez, Claudio Gonzalez, and Kieron Magee tied with 19 victories to rank as the top trainers at the 42-day meet that lost five days to inclement weather.
Their battle for top honors came down to the 375th and final race of the meet. McMahon and Gonzalez had starters in the finale but neither of their runners hit the board. The two trainers combined to go 0-for-7 on the 10-race card.
Vazquez went winless with four starters during the afternoon, and Magee did not have any runners on closing day. Magee finished the meet with an impressive 30% winning percentage.
"Who saw that coming?" Magee said. "After we won our 19th (March 28), the others had 20 shots to win a race. I kept waiting for somebody to win a race and as every race went by (closing day) I kept thinking we had a chance though my wife and I left after the eighth race because I thought Hugh would win the last race.
"As I walked out Hugh sent me a text that said, 'Good Luck'. That was a classy move. Juan just called to congratulate me. I couldn't be happier. I have 22 horses. Hugh has 80 in training. Juan has more than 70. Four years ago I had four or five horses. To win a share of the title, believe me, I am thrilled."
McCarthy topped the jockey standings with 54 first place finishes, 16 more than Victor Carrasco.
The 19-year-old had 18 multiple win days during the meet. The son of former rider Mike McCarthy will become a journeyman next month. Last year he ranked fourth in victories and was third in earnings among apprentice riders. He finished fifth in the voting for outstanding apprentice rider despite missing five months with a broken left tibia. Carrasco became the 10th Maryland-based rider be honored with the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice jockey when he won the honor for 2013.
"I really would have liked a chance at winning the Eclipse Award last year but I got hurt," McCarthy said. "So my goal is to get near Carrasco's stats as an apprentice before I lose the bug on April 19."
Carrasco finished his bug year with 228 victories and nearly $4.7 million in earnings. McCarthy has 212 winners with $5.6 million in earnings.
Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. topped the owner standings with 12 victories.
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