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Todd McCarthy drives 4 winners at Meadowlands

September 13, 2020
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McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy! No, not Andy of Hambletonian fame, or Luke, who drove Muscle Hill to victory in the World Trotting Derby, but little brother Todd, who stole the show at The Meadowlands Saturday night. The recent Australian invader won four times on the 13-race card to record his first victories at the mile oval. There figure to be many more to come.
 
McCarthy, 27, arrived from Down Under at the end of August and has made an immediate impact racing in the States, winning 11 times from 87 starts entering action Saturday.
 
“Australia was good to me. It’s been great for years,” said McCarthy. “I was the top driver at Menangle Racetrack in Sydney for the last five years. The timing was tricky [to come to the States] the way things are in the world right now, but it was a good time to come over and give it a go. The racing here is definitely faster and a little more aggressive, but so far it’s been great and I’m really enjoying it.”
 
So did those who bet him Saturday night.
 
McCarthy got the ball rolling in the third race, finishing first in a dead heat. Guiding A Major Omen, he managed to catch Griffon Hanover at the wire to record his first career Big M win in 1:52.2 in a low-end conditioned pace, paying $7.20 to win. Both horses went off at odds of 6-1.
 
Somebodyitreasure and McCarthy hooked up to destroy their foes in a non-winners of two pace by 5¾ lengths in 1:49.4 as the 6-5 favorite in race four before Flyingevenbettor N gave McCarthy his third win of the night in the sixth race non-winners of four pace in 1:51.2 as the 1-2 public choice.
 
Completing McCarthy’s grand slam was 7-1 chance The Bettormack N, who got the better of 3-5 favorite Ocean Colony nearing the finish of race seven. The time for the mile in the mid-range conditioned pace was 1:50.
 
“I’ve had a good night,” the understated McCarthy said. “With a lot of help from some good horses and some good trainers. I’ve been a lot busier than I thought I’d have been. I think for anyone in the harness racing industry, you look at America, The Meadowlands is the pinnacle. To crack one tonight and then to get a few more after that, it was pretty awesome.”
 
Big brother Andy has been in his corner. “Andy’s been a key factor in throwing a lot of work my way,” said Todd. “The fact that he’s been away [racing in Canada] has been a help. He’s told some of the trainers, ‘I’m away, you can throw my brother down on something’.”
 
McCarthy said he plans to race at Philadelphia, Pocono Downs and The Meadowlands in the coming months. “I’ve enjoyed every track I’ve raced at,” said McCarthy.
 
It shows.
 
BOMBS AWAY! Driver Pat Berry, aka “The Blueberry Bomber”, was up to his old tricks again, guiding three winners on the card, none close to being the post-time public choice.
Berry scored with Always The Sun ($15.20 to win) in the first race and Imageofarocker ($12.00) in the fifth before saving his best for last, winning with 33-1 shot Harambe Deo ($68.40) in the 10th.
On March 7, the last night of racing before the coronavirus shutdown, Berry swept the late double that paid $2,700.40 with horses who went off at 47-1 and 27-1.
 
A LITTLE MORE: With a carryover of $37,159 serving as the catalyst, Early 20-cent Pick-5 players got to shoot for a total pool of $188,387. Those correctly selecting five winners cashed in for $271.46. … With Harambe Deo providing the big upset, neither the Late 50-cent Pick-4 nor the Late 20-cent Pick-5 were hit. When racing resumes, the Late Pick-4 will have a carryover of $38,390 while the Late Pick-5 will start out with $21,811 in the hat. … All-source wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,744,326. … The Big M’s next live racing program is Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (Meadowlands)
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