Trevor McCarthy continued his dominance of the jockey standings, and in the process helped trainer Jamie Ness to his first Maryland meet title in four years as the Preakness Meet at Pimlico in Baltimore, Md., closed with a special Memorial Day holiday program Monday.
McCarthy, 25, finished the 12-day stand with 13 wins. It is the fourth consecutive meet title for McCarthy, all since returning to the circuit full-time last fall, the previous three coming at Laurel Park.
“It was a goal [to win Pimlico]. It's nice to set yourself some goals and try to reach them,” McCarthy said. “I'm just very lucky. I've ridden a lot of nice horses this meet. My agent does a great job and I just want to thank the owners and trainers for giving me all the support and opportunities. Without them, I wouldn't be where I'm at.”
Represented by Scott Silver, McCarthy captured Monday's opener with National Honor ($9.80) for trainer Jane Cibelli. He now owns 10 meet titles overall in Maryland including previous Pimlico crowns in 2014 and 2016, when he led all state riders in victories.
McCarthy and Ness teamed up 17 times during the Preakness meet, with eight wins, three seconds and a third, a 47 percent win rate and top three success of 70.6 percent.
“Jamie and I had a pretty deadly combination this meet. All of his horses seemed to be doing really well and he's really gotten them ready,” McCarthy said. “They all ran well at the right time and it all came together. I have to thank his crew for all the winners and Jamie especially. He's done a super job. I want to congratulate him on being leading trainer. Hopefully we'll have some more winners at the Laurel meet.”
Ness, 45, ended the Preakness meet with nine wins, four more than Graham Motion and Claudio Gonzalez, for his fifth title in Maryland and first since the spring 2015 stand at Pimlico. Tied for second at the 2018 Pimlico meet, Ness was winless with three starters Monday.
“I'm thrilled. It was a short meet; too bad it's over already,” Ness said by phone from Delaware Park, where he is the defending meet champion. “We had a great meet and the horses all ran well.”
Ness' horses finished in the top five at an 88.2 percent clip with McCarthy aboard (15-for-17).
“He's been riding all my horses for a long time,” Ness said. “That's a big reason for me winning; it helps to get the top rider.”
Live racing moves to Laurel Park for its 43-day summer meet starting Friday, May 31 and running through Sunday, Aug. 18.
“I've got some great turf business, so I'm excited. I love the turf,” McCarthy said. “The big sweeping turns at Laurel are great. I'm really looking forward to Laurel. Hopefully we stay in great form.”
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