Todd McCarthy visited the television set at The Meadowlands on Friday (March 4) as the featured guest for the track's pre-race show, "In The Sulky."
McCarthy, the youngest of the Australia dynasty which includes his brother Andrew and the oldest Luke (who is still in Australia), spoke with Dave Little about his meteoric rise to the top of harness racing's leaderboards starting with his move to the states in August 2020. In that first season, McCarthy linked with a freshman trotting filly named Anoka Hanover, a Noel Daley pupil whom McCarthy credits with helping to propel his career as a top-name driver in North America.
“I think it was a huge part of it," said McCarthy. "It showed that I probably had that ability to handle horses like that, and she was a little bit of a tricky horse too to handle, a young two-year-old trotting filly like that. It was just a great run that we had with her and it definitely helped a lot.”
Success with Anoka Hanover parlayed for McCarthy into a career season, one that earned him recognition by the United States Harness Writer's Association for the Rising Star Award in 2021.
"[Collecting the award] was pretty special to me," said McCarthy. "Moving over here [in 2020], it was something that I would’ve never dreamt of – being a recipient of that award. I was really fortunate with the start that I had and just the timing that I came. I had my big brother Andy here too who was always giving me great pointers and putting me in the right direction. I just had phenomenal support from some great trainers and owners that were willing to take me on and give me a go very early on.
"I just had a phenomenal year," McCarthy also said, "and I have so many people to thank for that. But it was truly a real honour to accept that."
The full "In The Sulky" interview with Todd McCarthy is available below.