Jockey Trevor McCarthy, in his first mount since being involved in a three-horse spill one week earlier, made a triumphant return to the irons aboard Charlie Biggs’ Dancingwithpaynter in Friday’s second race at Laurel Park.


Trained by Cal Lynch, Dancingwithpaynter ($2.40) dueled with Congrats Graduate through the stretch before edging clear past the eighth pole and surviving a claim of foul by runner-up jockey Richard Chiappe to win by 4 ¼ lengths as a 1-5 favorite in the $15,000 claimer for older females. The winning time was 1:42.69 for one mile over a sloppy main track.


McCarthy, leading rider at Laurel’s 2018 calendar year-ending fall meet that preceded the current 2019 winter stand, added a second win Friday aboard Run to Win Stable and Jagger, Inc.’s Rockin Cowboy ($6.80) in Race 7.


The 24-year-old McCarthy, Maryland’s leading rider in 2014 and 2016, avoided serious injury when his horse, Tuffy’s Way, broke down and caused a chain-reaction collision in the sixth race Jan. 11. He missed the rest of the card and both Jan. 12 and 13, Laurel’s last previous live program.


“It’s nice. It’s good for Cal. He put me on a nice one to start me off. It’s always nice when you’ve got the stock underneath you, so I have to say thanks to him,” McCarthy said. “It’s been a long week and a long road, a lot of tests and a lot of ups and downs, but this lifted me up.”


McCarthy and fellow riders Horacio Karamanos and Jomar Torres were each taken to the hospital for observation after the spill. Karamanos returned to ride the next day, while Torres remains out but is named in three races Saturday at Laurel. 


“This morning [Friday] was my first morning getting on horses. I had to have some tests and get my head under control just because I had a minor concussion,” McCarthy said. “I was working out later on in the week, testing my levels to see how much my brain could take, and everything seemed real well.”


All three jockeys were tended to on-scene by Dr. Kelly Ryan of MedStar Sports Medicine, which provides health services on live racing days in Maryland. McCarthy and Torres were brought to the shock trauma unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, while Karamanos was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md.


“I want to thank Dr. Kelly because she worked really hard with me and kept checking on me to see how I was doing. I did all the tests with her,” McCarthy said. “And I want to thank shock trauma at the University of Maryland for being a great hospital, the best hospital I ever went to. It’s nice being here at Laurel Park where they have lot of great connections for us and the best people to work on us.”


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