Florida Grad Carotari Blitzes Field in Jim McKay Turf Sprint

Monday, May 23, 2022

William A. Branch’s Carotari, unraced since late December, made a triumphant return to competition with a front-running 1 ½-length score in Saturday’s $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at historic Pimlico Race Course.

Trained by Brian Lynch and ridden by Luis Saez, Carotari is a graduate of the renowned Hidden Brook Florida training center.

A gelded 6-year-old son of Grade 1 turf winner Artie Schiller, Carotari broke alertly from Post 2 and flashed his speed, blazing through a quarter-mile in 21.90 seconds and a half in 44.69. Carotari began to edge away from the field once straightened for home and had plenty left to hold off late runs from Smokin’ Jay on the far outside and Seven Scents, who were separated by a nose on the line.

Carotari earned his ninth career win in his first start since capturing the Janus Dec. 31 at Gulfstream Park. Prior stakes wins came in the 2020 and 2021 Silks Run, also at Gulfstream and the 2020 Preview Turf Sprint at Turfway Park. He has also placed in four other stakes including a second in the 2021 Troy (G3) at Saratoga.

The Jim McKay Turf Sprint pays homage to the late Hall of Fame broadcaster and Philadelphia native who considered Baltimore his home. McKay first gained notoriety as host of ABC’s ‘Wide World of Sports’ in 1961 and then wide acclaim as voice of the Olympics, winning 13 Emmy Awards and the Eclipse Award of Merit. He was instrumental in conceiving and launching the groundbreaking Maryland Million in 1986 and passed away in 2008 at 86.

“He is pretty fast. He is pretty quick. That is the way he likes to be. Today, he ran pretty nice. I rode him pretty confident,¨ said Saez. “When I came to the top of the stretch, I had a lot of horse. We just waited for somebody to come and close and just let him run. He did the rest. He was very comfortable. I could feel someone coming, but I had so much horse. He was still pretty strong. He is a pretty nice horse. He likes a track like this [firm]. It was perfect.”

-edited from www.pastthewire.com