Md. Champ McCarthy Returning to Laurel

April 13, 2024

Trevor McCarthy. (Maryland Jockey Club)

Maryland’s 4-Time Champion Named in $100,000 Primonetta

Persistent Intrepid Dream Takes Win Streak into Heavenly Cause

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – For the second time in less than a week, Laurel Park will welcome back one of its most popular jockeys as well as a four-time state champion when journeyman Trevor McCarthy returns with two mounts Saturday including Ken Wheeler Jr.’s Kant Hurry Love in Saturday’s $100,000 Primonetta.

McCarthy, who turns 30 May 16, arrives six days after his wife, Katie Davis, rode 5-year-old mare Funny How Sunday in a third-level optional claiming allowance, her first race in more than five months.

“For the most part I had a great career there and I won so many races, so many stakes, for great clients. I’m just looking forward to coming back and seeing everybody, seeing Laurel again and just kind of reminiscing about the old times,” McCarthy said. “I’m super grateful for all the support and all the success that I had in Maryland, and Laurel will always be a special place in my heart.”

Though he came back to run third on Wudda U Think Now in the Lite the Fuse and fifth aboard English Tavern in the Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 10, 2022, at historic Pimlico Race Course, McCarthy has not ridden at Laurel since Dec. 6, 2020. His last Laurel win came two days prior, with Positive Force.

McCarthy led all Maryland riders in wins at Laurel and Pimlico in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019, and won 13 individual meet titles between the two tracks before moving his tack to New York full-time after he and Davis were married Dec. 17, 2020. Together they have a daughter, Riley, born Dec. 20, 2021.

The McCarthy Family (Katie Davis McCarthy/X)

“I’m pretty excited to get back there,” McCarthy said. “A lot of great memories come back. I was so fortunate and grateful to being leading rider there for the year a few times. The first thing I can think of is my first stakes win. I won the [2013 John B. Campbell] on Concealed Identity for the Gaudet stable. That was really special. I was just an apprentice at the time.

“At that time there wasn’t any family of my own or kids and I didn’t have those responsibilities. I was just a kid. I was just in the moment, and I loved being a jockey. At that time that’s all I wanted to think about doing and dreamed of doing,” he added. “I still get those feelings, but I have a family now and I’m not always thinking about racing. I’m more thinking about family and spending quality time with them, which I don’t regret. I love this part of my life, as well.”

McCarthy owns 1,847 career wins and more than $74.3 million in purse earnings from 11,306 mounts. According to Equibase statistics, he has ridden 4,970 times at Laurel and Pimlico with 916 wins, 908 seconds, 762 thirds and $29,881,219 in purses earned.

During his time in Maryland, the Delaware-born McCarthy also rode throughout the Mid-Atlantic, spending the winter of 2018 at Aqueduct and the spring/summer of 2021 in Southern California. He is coming off an Aqueduct winter meet where he ranked fifth with nearly $1.5 million in purses earned, winning 18 of 180 races.

McCarthy enjoying his victory aboard Highland Chief. (NYRA Photo)

McCarthy has won two dozen graded-stakes, earning his first Grade 1 with Highland Chief in the 2022 Man o’ War at Belmont Park. At Laurel, he won the 2020 Barbara Fritchie (G3) on Majestic Reason and 2019 General George (G3) aboard Uncontested.

“It’s a very tough colony here,” McCarthy said. “It can be a bit of a roller coaster, as the industry can be itself, a little bit more here than probably other places just because of the competition, the quality of the riders, the quality of the horses, the quality of the trainers and the quality of owners, all competing at one of the highest levels in the country.

“I’ve been very fortunate to win some big races here, really have some good clients and kind of be able to settle down,” he added. “With the Mid-Atlantic it was a lot to ride six, seven days a week, day and night. The older I get the more it takes a toll on your body. Having a child and a wife, it took away a lot of time so I kind of had to come to a place where I could stay year-round and not work as much to have some balance in my life.”

Before the Primonetta, McCarthy is named on M and D Stable’s My Sugar Boo, a 3-year-old bay daughter of Ironicus that drew outermost Post 9 in a one-mile allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 3 and up in Race 6. Trained by Tim Keefe, My Sugar Boo has one win from four starts, a maiden claiming victory third time out Jan. 12 at Laurel.

McCarthy has ridden David Duggan-trained Kant Hurry Love in six straight starts and seven of her last eight, winning an open allowance last March and the six-furlong Dancing Renee in June against fellow New York-breds, both at the Primonetta distance, where she has a record of 4-7-2 from 14 tries. 

Favored on the morning line at odds of 6-5, Kant Hurry Love has placed in four of her last five starts, beaten a nose last out by Hot Fudge in the six-furlong Correction March 9 at Aqueduct.

“She’s been so unlucky her last couple starts,” McCarthy said. “She’s got really great tactical speed, she’s got a high cruising speed, and three-quarters really is her thing. You’ve really got to kind of nurse her to get that seven-eighths and she just doesn’t fully want it. It looks like Saturday it’s going to set up really great.

“We got a super awesome draw, and it looks like there’s some other speed inside of us to where she can kind of track and get a good position being on the outside,” he added. “I really like our filly coming into the race. She’s been beaten twice by a really good filly that’s won five in a row up here and really loves to win. I think this is definitely going to be a great race for her.”

Persistent Intrepid Dream Takes Win Streak into Heavenly Cause

Intrepid Daydream was the definitive victor in the Maryland Million Distaff. (Jim McCue/MJC)
Intrepid Daydream was the definitive victor in the Maryland Million Distaff. (Jim McCue/MJC)

Paul L. Fowler Jr.’s 6-year-old mare Intrepid Dream, riding a four-race win streak that stretches back nearly three years, will make just her seventh career start and first in a stakes in Saturday’s $100,000 Heavenly Cause at Laurel Park.

The one-mile Heavenly Cause is the first of four $100,000 stakes on an 11-race program, followed by the six-furlong Primonetta, also for fillies and mares 3 and older, seven-furlong Frank Y. Whiteley and 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer, each for 3-year-olds and up. First race post time is 12:25 p.m.

Intrepid Dream has been a case study in perseverance for Fowler and trainer Gary Capuano, who have seen their Maryland-bred mare – massive in both size and potential – come off layoffs of 325, 423 and, most recently, 476 days since launching her career in September 2020 at Delaware Park.

“Sometimes you’re forced to [be patient]. She’s had a few setbacks where we’d get her going and then something would come up with her. It just took a little while to get her going,” Capuano said. “She’s a really, really great big horse, so she’s a little bit harder on herself just because of the size of her. She’s huge, but like the rest of the family has got a lot of talent.”

By late sire Jess’s Dream out of the Jump Start mare Intrepid Tour, Intrepid Dream is a younger full sister to Intrepid Daydream, Maryland’s champion sprinter, older female and Horse of the Year for 2023 that Fowler sold privately after she won the Nov. 24 Politely at Laurel. She has run twice since, finishing second in the Dec. 23 Sugar Swirl (G3) and fourth in the Jan. 27 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

“She’s bigger than her [sister]. She towers over the other one, and Daydream is a pretty big horse,” Capuano said. “[Intrepid Dream] shows up every time. You can train her into some of these races and she just fires. We’ll see how things go this time, but she’s coming into it well.”

Intrepid Dream won her latest comeback March 2 at Laurel, a third-level optional claiming allowance where she went off as the heavy favorite, took over the lead after running six furlongs in 1:13.84 and drew clear to win by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:39.50 for one mile. Among the horses she beat were stakes-placed runner-up Doctor Abbie and Cats Inthe Timber, winner of Laurel’s 2023 Weber City Miss that ran fourth. Both return in the Heavenly Cause.

“She trained really well going into that race. We were fortunate enough as a comeback race it wasn’t as tough as it could be, so we kind of got lucky there. It was a great first step back and she did it really well,” Capuano said. “She’s fit enough now, and she’s had a couple nice breezes since her last race, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Notes ~ ~ ~ 

Five-pound apprentice J.G. Torrealba swept Friday’s early daily double with Mama G’s Wish ($7.60) in Race 1 and Money Room ($4.80) in Race 2 … 

Torrealba completed his hat trick aboard Minxzluckystarfyre ($9.20) in Race 4 … 

Jockey Jevian Toledo doubled on Uncaptured Storm ($39.40) in Race 3 and Jester’s Song ($7.80) in Race 7 … 

Trainer Jonathan Maldonado saddled both Uncaptured Storm and Kapadokya ($3.80) in Race 8. 

That was a phenomenal article Jonathan. Thank you for writing it and sharing it. Ruffian was my second love (after Man O' War) and I simply cannot stop the tears from falling every time I read about this magnificent black beauty.

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