The 26-year-old native of Wilmington, Delaware won the jockey title at Colonial last year as the New Kent track returned to action after a six-year absence. He entered Sunday’s card — a makeup from last Monday’s cancellation — with five wins from 16 starts, just two days into the 2020 season. Forest Boyce was one better though, having won six times.
McCarthy connected early with Ferris Allen’s No Knock Raid in the second, then won three straight beginning in the fourth. He was atop Michael Campbell’s Sky Mischief, Michael Stidham’s Palio and Sarah Nagle’s Cark over that span.
McCarthy, leading rider leader in Maryland in 2014 and 2016, closed out his evening by guiding Wesley Ward’s Sunshine City to victory in the 5 1/2 furlong eighth. “I was worried a bit in the turn but when I asked her to respond, she did. It was like pushing a button. I just tried not to overthink the ride.”
Boyce prevailed once on Sunday with Princess Grace so after three race days, McCarthy has ten wins to Boyce’s seven. On Monday, the pair have eight and six mounts respectively in Colonial’s nine race card.
McCarthy was humble when asked about his early season success. “I can’t take the credit,” he said. “I give credit to the trainers and all the great staff involved behind the scenes, from exercise riders, to grooms, to hotwalkers. My agent (Scott Silver) has been picking the right horses for me to ride and the horses have been doing what they’re supposed to do. I’ve gotten great support from my family and future wife (jockey Katie Davis).
Colonial Downs, in its second season under ownership of the Colonial Downs Group, continues its summer meet through September 2. Racing is held every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 PM. Highlight of the season is the New Kent County Virginia Derby Night on Tuesday September 1.