Photo: Coady Photography
Trainer Tom Morley believed that Carrick would get a piece of the Grade I Secretariat Stakes, but the 3-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway ended up getting the whole pie.
Owned by Donegal Racing, Carrick laid fifth in the race’s early stages while being patiently ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. He angled to the outside of horses at the top of the stretch and outgunned 4-5 post time favorite Analyze It down the lane to win by a narrow margin.
“He came into the race in super shape,” Morley said. “I felt we had a legit shot of getting a piece of the race and then the race set itself up incredibly well. He relaxed well for Johnny and got in a perfect spot. It was a super ride and a really good race for him.”
Carrick has only made four career starts but has taken big steps up the ladder in his tetrad of performances. He broke his maiden first time out for a $40,000 tag at Belmont Park before winning a starter allowance event at the Elmont oval on June 21. Carrick entered his Secretariat victory with a third-place finish in the Grade III Kent Stakes at Delaware Park on July 14.
“Johnny was confident in yesterday’s race,” Morley said. “It does make a difference with a horse like this when they have a ridden him before. He’s an aggressive horse in the beginning of the race. You have to sit quietly on him and let that stamina kick in at the quarter pole.”
Carrick became Morley’s second Grade I winner when taking the Secretariat. He acquired prosperity at such caliber with Haveyougoneaway who won the Grade I Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga in August 2016.
Morley appears to have some high hopes for Carrick and did not rule out running him outside of the U.S. later on down the road.
“He might be an international campaigner as an older horse and now with yesterday’s win that’s much more realistic,” Morley said. “Next is a flight home from Chicago. We’ll discuss with (owner) Jerry (Crawford) this week, but we’ve got to get him home first. He’s had a long week of travel.”
Carrick was bred in Kentucky by Patricia Pavlish and was consigned by Sheltowee Stables at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016 where Donegal Racing purchased him for $75,000. He is out of the Distorted Humor broodmare How Far To Heaven.