Jockey Herb McCauley, who returned to racing Sept. 1 after nine years on the sidelines, won his first race since his comeback Oct. 17 when he guided Red Oak Stable’s Missed the Prom to an eight-length victory in the sixth race at the Meadowlands for trainer Greg Sacco.
McCauley, 50, shattered his left leg in a 1998 racing accident at Monmouth Park and worked as an agent for jockeys Kyle Kaenel and Eddie King Jr. before he returned to racing this year. The rider of 1995 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victor Gal in a Ruckus, he has been aboard 3,050 winners thus far in his career.
“It just took some horsepower underneath me,” said McCauley. “It felt exactly the way it was supposed to feel; I’ve been waiting to have a horse like that up underneath me. It felt normal, like it wasn’t nine years ago that I fell – it felt like I had broke a collarbone or something and was out four or six weeks.”
McCauley was the all-time leading rider at the Meadowlands, the leading apprentice there in 1976, and the owner of multiple riding titles at the New Jersey track.
“When I pulled up I told the outrider, ‘It’s been such a long time since I’ve been to the winners circle, I might need a GPS system to get there,’” McCauley joked. “No, I’m just looking for good horses to ride and a winners circle to get in. I’ve always been a very smart rider and a strong rider, and it’s all still there.”