McCarthy, Ness Claim Preakness Meet Titles at Pimlico

McCarthy, Ness Claim Preakness Meet Titles at Pimlico

Mandatory Rainbow 6 Jackpot Payout Returns $14,231
$1.19 Million Bet into Popular Multi-Race Wager
Mokheef Gives Trainer Stettinius First Career Victory
Laurel Park Summer Meet Opens Friday, May 31

BALTIMORE – 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 closed with a special Memorial Day holiday program Monday.

McCarthy, 25, finished the 12-day stand with 13 wins, xxxx more than Jorge Vargas Jr. and seven-pound apprentice Avery Whisman, who tied for second. 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.”

Mandatory Rainbow 6 Jackpot Payout Returns $14,231

It was a happy Memorial Day for multiple ticketholders who each cashed for $14,231.16 following a mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 Monday at Pimlico.

Hit during Opening Day, May 9, the Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the final 11 racing days of the Preakness meet. A total of $1,192,426 was bet into the popular multi-race wager Monday on top of a carryover of $261,773.73 from Sunday’s program.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 60 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 40 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

However, on days when a mandatory payout is scheduled, the entire Rainbow 6 pool is paid out to all those holding tickets with the most winners.

Other mandatory payouts Monday came in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 ($8,215.55) and $1 Super Hi-5 ($116.20).

Maryland’s state-record Pick 6 carryover is $345,898.33, reached heading into the April 15, 2018 program at Laurel Park. It was solved that day by a single bettor for a jackpot payout of $399,545.94.

The Rainbow 6 begins anew with the start of Laurel Park’s summer meet Friday, May 31. The sequence spans Races 4-9 and includes three races scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course which attracted a total of 36 entries, an average of 12 starters per race. First race post time is 1:10 p.m.

Mokheef Gives Trainer Stettinius First Career Victory

Mint Meadows Farm’s Mokheef, racing second time off the claim, came with a steady run down the center of the track to catch Electro and win Monday’s ninth-race finale, giving trainer Suzanne Stettinius her first career victory.

It was the second starter of the year for Stettinius, the cousin of Maryland-based trainer Ann Merryman who had run 21 previous horses dating back to her first in 2009. Stettinius claimed Mokheef for $5,000 last December at Laurel Park, and ran first him in an off-the-turf claiming event May 5 at Laurel.

“If you look at his record, he’s won once on the turf and he’s been on the board both times so that’s where he wants to be. I ran him off turf a couple weeks ago and the jockey came back and said, ‘Don’t ever do that again,’” Stettinius said. “We’re listening, and we found his race.”

Mokheef ($17) ran one mile in 1:36.98 over a firm turf course to win the $22,000 claiming event for 3-year-olds and up by a half-length, his third career victory from 17 races.

“I don’t even know how I feel, it was so exciting,” Stettinius said. “I was a little worried about him on the backside. It looked like he was dropping back and all of a sudden he made a big move around the turn, and he got him at the end.”

Stettinius, 31, is a native of Parkton, Md. who represented the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, competing in modern pentathlon. She is also a former steeplechase jockey who twice raced in the Maryland Hunt Cup, and has been riding for Merryman since age 16.

“She’s just taught me everything. She’s kind of the one that pushed me to get into the game myself,” Stettinius said. “I can tell you what was more fun [than the Olympics], and it was winning my first horse race.”

Notes: Five-pound apprenticec Julio Correa registered his second straight two-win day Monday, aboard Di ($4.20) in Race 2 and America’s Prince ($7.80), a rare registered white gelding, in Race 7. Seven-pound apprentice Avery Whisman also won twice, with Can He Shine ($8.20) in Race 4 and Railmaster ($5.40) in Race 8. Railmaster and Gennie Highway ($7.60) are both trained by Ann Merryman.