Day At The Track

McCarthy to give it his all - Dynamic Youth

08:48 PM 28 Jun 2013 NZST
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Andrew McCarthy
Andrew McCarthy

On Saturday night in the $500,000 Final of the Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace at Pocono Downs, part of the track's $2 million in purses for their Sun Stakes, harness racing driver Andrew McCarthy is going to have some tough decision making to ponder.

His horse, Dynamic Youth, drew the far outside post position 9 in one of the four feature races and faces a monumental task not only having to race against world class rivals including two-time Older Pacer of the Year and world record holder, Foiled Again, plus Razzle Dazzle, Pet Rock and Betterthancheddar, but also finding a way to overcome post 9.

"From last year to this year he (Dynamic Youth) has come back stronger and quicker," said McCarthy. "He did not have great gate speed as a three-year-old but now he can leave well and you need gate speed to get into better position early."

So how will McCarthy handle Dynamic Youth starting from the outside in post 9?

"I don't know yet," McCarthy laughed, "Most everyone in the field can leave. I will have to wait and see how he feels behind the starting gate and maybe try a little and see if he gets handy. I don't want to have to come from too far back, but I want to try and make some money with him."

Trained by Aaron Lambert, Dynamic Youth is a four-year-old gelding by Bettor's Delight from the Western Hanover mare, Always True and is owned by J & T Silva Stable of Long Beach, NY, K. Tucci of Wood Ridge, NJ and the C & C Racing Stable of Jackson, NJ. Last year Dynamic Youth had a great season with six wins, earnings of $593,000 and a record of 1:48.4.

In 2013, after just six starts, Dynamic Youth has three wins and last week showed he can leave from post six and get into perfect position to score from in beating Clear Vision by a head in 1:48.3 for his second straight win. That was in one of three $50,000 eliminations divisions for the Ben Franklin Pace.

"He (Dynamic Youth) deserves to be in this race," McCarthy said, "He has shown he is good enough to compete with the best there is. The nine post does not help us but we will make the most of it."

Who does McCarthy fear the most in the race? It's Foiled Again, who drew post four and is the 5/2 morning line favorite.

"He (Foiled Again) is unbelievable," McCarthy said. "You have to take your hat off to him. Every year he comes back strong and takes another lifetime mark. He is tough as nails despite being nearly twice as old as everyone else in the field."

But Dynamic Youth is not out of reach in the Ben Franklin Pace Saturday as the morning line man at Pocono Downs made him 6-1 in the early odds.

"I would really like to be able to leave enough not to be in last place at the first quarter." McCarthy said. "Then it would be great if the others would really mix it up. Maybe get to the half in :52 and then he (Dynamic Youth) would have a real shot in here. I know I have enough horse to be competitive, just unlucky with the draw."

McCarthy, 27, hails from Australia where he was a top young driver. He came to the United States six years ago and really likes racing here.

"You really have to show you know what you are doing, very professional," McCarthy said. "In Australia you can jostle and force your way out of a hole, which can be dangerous. Here you have to know your horse and its limits and that will dictate when you can make your moves. Much more difficult to drive in the United States but if you work at it there are great opportunities and good purses too."

McCarthy is based in Bordentown, NJ and he is a "traveling man" sometimes competing at five different tracks in one week.

"Today I'm driving to Vernon Downs to race," McCarthy said, "Then tomorrow at Tigoa Downs and then Yonkers, Saturday at Pocono Downs then Sunday at Saratoga. I do a lot of driving the car."

With such a positive attitude and natural harness racing ability we are sure that Andrew will be "driving" into the winner's circle a lot this season, maybe even Saturday night.

By Steve Wolf

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