RED-HOT 'ANOKA' HELPS MCCARTHY BRAVE THE COLD
-- Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
HIGHTSTOWN, NJ -- November 20, 2020 -- Todd McCarthy is no fan of the cold, but the Australia native is a big admirer of good horses. And the latter will keep McCarthy in the U.S. through this winter and next year.
The 27-year-old McCarthy moved to the U.S. in late August and already counts a handful of Grand Circuit stakes victories among his 80 wins since then. His biggest triumph came earlier this month with Anoka Hanover in the Kindergarten Classic Series championship for 2-year-old female trotters, and McCarthy will be back in action with the filly this weekend.
Anoka Hanover is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Meadowlands. She brings a six-race win streak to the event, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes.
For the year, the Noel Daley-trained filly has won nine of 13 races and $373,153. McCarthy has been in the sulky for her past six starts.
“She’s been awesome,” McCarthy said. “Noel has done a terrific job with her and certainly made my job easier. It’s a tough race, but fingers crossed, hopefully everything goes well for us.”
Anoka Hanover was not eligible to the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. On Saturday, she will face the top-three Breeders Crown finishers: winner Lady Chaos, runner-up Mazzarati, and Splash Blue Chip.
Lady Chaos and Splash Blue Chip have not raced since the Crown. Mazzarati finished third in the Kindergarten two weeks ago, when Anoka Hanover won in a career-best 1:52.3.
“Going to the Breeders Crown would have been cool but she might not have been the same horse going into the Kindergarten and the race this week,” McCarthy said about Anoka Hanover, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel. “I’m a big believer that sometimes everything happens for a reason and that fortnight ago was perfect.
“She’s got such a good attitude for such a young filly; she handles herself so well. She’s just a lovely little horse to drive. She’s so honest. She’s out there to do her best every time, you don’t have to ask her too much; she’s trying as hard as you can. When you come across a horse like that, it doesn’t matter what age group, you just really appreciate them.”
McCarthy is the younger brother of top drivers Luke and Andy McCarthy and son of highly regarded trainer John McCarthy. His accomplishments Down Under included winning the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship and multiple New South Wales state and metropolitan premiership driving titles. He represented Australia at the 2019 World Driving Championship and counts the Inter Dominion as his top victory.
“I have to thank Noel for all he’s done,” McCarthy said. “He helped me come over here and got me going. He couldn’t have been more helpful since I’ve come to the States, putting me down to drive. I can’t thank him enough.”
McCarthy’s original plan was to return to Australia during the U.S. winter and return next spring or summer. But with his newfound success in the States, he decided there was no reason to leave. McCarthy entered Friday with 80 wins in 565 drives, a 14-percent win rate, and $1.17 million in purses.
“To be honest, I never thought I would stay this busy when I came over; I thought I’d be pretty quiet,” McCarthy said. “But everyone has been so welcoming, and I’ve been getting a lot of great opportunities. I’m really enjoying it.
“I don’t like the cold too much, but I’m happy to stick it out and I’ll do my best to enjoy the winter. I don’t want to go home. I’m having too much fun.”
The Goldsmith Maid is part of the Fall Four events for 2-year-olds Saturday at The Big M.
Breeders Crown champion On A Streak is the 3-1 favorite in the $398,650 Valley Victory for male trotters and Summa Cum Laude, who captured a Breeders Crown in a dead heat with Perfect Sting, is the 9-5 choice in the $371,900 Governor’s Cup for male pacers.
Fire Start Hanover, also a Crown winner, is the 2-1 favorite in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for female pacers.
In addition to the Fall Four, the Saturday card includes TVG Series championships for trotters and pacers. Those races will feature the final career starts for Dan Patch Award winners Bettor’s Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego.
EMail this Story to a friend