Declan Carroll pictured after getting the traditional jockey's bath at Keeneland, Ky., after his first career victory.
By John Manley
Apprentice jockey Declan Carroll rode his winner on Friday, Oct. 26, getting B Deb’s Fortune, owned by Hubert Payton and trained by Daniel Pitts, home in front by two and one-half lengths in a maiden claiming race at Keeneland. The 3-year-old filly paid $35.20 to win.
Carroll, breaking from the 3 post, gunned his mount over to the rail on the sloppy surface and took the early lead. They maintained a modest advantage down the backside, squirted away around the turn, hit the top of the lane clear by several lengths and were never threatened down the lane.
The winner brought a 0-for-12 mark into the race, her best outing having been a second-place finish at Churchill Downs in June.
In true racing tradition, Carroll, 19, was greeted by a swarm of jockeys in the Keeneland paddock, who then gave him a bath that included water, shaving cream, boot polish and eggs among the ingredients.
This was Carroll’s eighth career mount. He enjoys a 10-pound apprentice allowance, which will diminish to seven pounds after he rides his fifth winner. He will then have one year to complete his apprenticeship. Once he rides an additional 30 winners, his allowance will reduce to five pounds.
Carroll comes from a rich racing pedigree. His father, David, is currently an assistant to trainer Mark Casse, a position he took on a couple of years ago after two decades training his own string, which included multiple stakes winners. Declan’s mother Kim is an exercise rider for the Casse barn. Uncle Raymond Carroll rode Gonzales to victory in the 1980 Irish St. Leger for Vincent O’Brien and later attended to Go and Go for Dermot Weld when that one came over to win the 1990 Belmont Stakes. Cousin Gary Carroll currently rides in Ireland.
Carroll will most likely remain in Kentucky through November at Churchill Downs and then accompany the Casse string to New Orleans for the winter.
David Moran pulled off a stunner in the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, getting Ivan Dalos’ Silent Sonet home one-half length in front. The 4-year-old filly paid $114.80 to win.
Moran had his mount up close to the pace early, got in front at the eighth pole and then held off the cavalry to the wire. The long odds are something of a mystery as the filly is a multiple winner of restricted stakes at Woodbine. This was her second shot at graded stakes company, her first try resulting in a fifth-place finish, beaten only two lengths, back in April off a six-month layoff. This was Moran’s first trip on Silent Sonet.
Aidan O’Brien brings a large contingent over to contest this year’s championship climax to the American racing season at Churchill Downs on Friday and Saturday. Headlining the troops is Mendelssohn, most recently third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The colt’s previous mission at Churchill Downs was a dismal effort in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
O’Brien has Magical pre-entered in both the Turf and the Filly & Mare Turf. Others include Hunting Horn in the Turf, Athena and Magic Wand in the Filly & Mare Turf, Gustav Klimt, I Can Fly and Happily in the Mile, Lost Treasure in the Turf Sprint, Sergei Prokofiev and So Perfect in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Just Wonderful, Hermosa and So Perfect in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Anthony Van Dyck and Broome in the Juvenile Turf, which was won last year at Santa Anita by Mendelssohn.
Pat Gallagher is taking a shot in the Distaff with La Force, while Dermot Weld is sending Eziyra over for the Filly & Mare Turf, a race that also drawn the attention of Gavin Cromwell, looking to make a name for himself on this side of the Atlantic with Princess Yaiza. Karl Burke will give Havana Grey a shot in the Turf Sprint, where he might find Brendan Walsh’s Extravagant Kid among his rivals. Burke is also hoping to get Comedy into the Juvenile Turf Sprint, although he will need some defections for that to occur.
James Graham will be looking for a career-defining win in the Classic aboard Lone Sailor, which will go off at robust odds.