McCarthys Making Major Impact

Todd and Andy McCarthy
Published: February 9, 2022 08:47 pm EST

What began as a dream to just win one race on American soil has blossomed into a career Andy McCarthy never fathomed. And since mirroring Andy's move halfway across the world some 13 years later, Andy's younger brother, Todd, has made a mighty splash of his own.

While in their native Australia, enjoying a respite from the recent harsh winter weather in New Jersey, the McCarthys sat down for an interview with Adam Hamilton, of Ladbrokes.

"Originally, I just wanted to win one race," Andy said, indicating that he worked for Noel Daley as a groom in 2007 and left for the States to become a better farrier while still driving in the odd race. "I wanted to have a drive and win one race so I could bring a picture home and hang it on the wall."

As it turns out, he's closing in on 3,000 North American wins, and has danced in some of the continent's biggest dances, including the Hambletonian, which he won in 2020 with Ramona Hill.

"You can win a lot of the big races, but the adrenalin rush and the emotion you get when you cross the wire in a race like that, it's hard to replicate."

Suffice it to say that Andy, who achieved career-high numbers of 315 wins and over $8.8 million in purses in 2021, far exceeded the goals he had for himself on his first North American sojourn, some 15 years ago.

The year prior, when Andy won four Breeders Crown finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, it may have been more of a game-changing moment for the youngest of the McCarthy brothers: Todd.

"The big turning point for me was when I went the year before and Andy was up in Canada ... and he won four Breeders Crowns that weekend," he said of his brother's performance. "I was kind of like, 'This is pretty awesome.'"

The next summer, Todd arrived in the States and promptly made a name for himself, winning 112 races in four months on American shores. Then, in 2021, his first full season driving in North America, Todd put up sparkling numbers in his own right, winning 336 races and banking over $7.5 million in purses — and his success brought him the United States Harness Writers Association's Rising Star Award.

"When I got on the plane to go over, it was the last thing I would have ever expected," Todd said. "That was pretty cool to get that."

Todd attributes his rise to prominence to his brother, and to being welcomed with open arms by some of the continent's top stables.

"I think a large part of my immediate success was — as much as Andy doesn't like praise, it was because of Andy," he said. "He knew I was coming, he kind of helped me with a few contacts there, and really just got me off to a flying start.... I kind of showed up and I had to learn a few things pretty quickly. It was a different style of racing, but the owners willing to give me a shot and take me on board from the get-go? I found that to be pretty warming."

The McCarthys' complete interview with Adam Hamilton appears below:


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