The crowd cheered when Chad Brown’s 4/5 favorite Analyze It took the lead in the stretch in the Secretariat Stakes but the 38/1 shot Carrick managed to get his head in front in the final 100 yards and win by a neck at Arlington Park on August 11.
Trained by the UK-born Tom Morley for Donegal Racing, Carrick had been pushed along by John Velazquez for two furlongs but kept giving more to overcome his admirably determined rival. It was the third time straight that Analyze It had finished second. Analyze It, a son of Point Of Entry, was beaten by Catholic Boy in his two previous starts in the Pennine Ridge and Belmont Stakes respectively.
In the Secretariat Stakes the first two colts finished almost three lengths clear of the chasing pack who were having their own close-fought battle for the minor placings. Another long shot, Bandua (40/1), trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld and ridden by the UK-based Will Buick took third. His compatriot Platinum Warrior (15/1) was beaten a nose into fourth under Joel Rosario for Michael Halford. Florent Geroux partnered the fifth-placed Captivating Moon (18/1) for Chris Block ahead of yet another colt from Ireland, Ming (48/1), trained by Joseph O’Brien.
Joseph’s father Aidan O’Brien saddled the 3/1 second favorite Hunting Horn who was drawn widest of all in gate 13. He finished a disappointing eighth, beaten four and a half lengths under Ryan Moore who had him close to the pace but he weakened when it mattered.
Another 38/1 shot, the gray Real Story, made the most of his draw from gate one and led the pack for most of the race. Analyze It was ridden close to the pace by Jose Ortiz whilst Velasquez had Carrick settled calmly on the rail in fifth just behind the leading group of four. Velasquez waited for the final turn before angling his colt wide of the leaders to make his challenge.
Whilst US bettors clearly thought that Analyze It was the one to beat, Jerry Crawford of Donegal Racing, was convinced his colt was not a no-hoper. Carrick won his first two starts but was beaten nearly three lengths in his most recent run, in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park on July 14, having found himself short of room at key points during the race.
Crawford praised the way Velasquez ensured that Carrick had plenty of room to run this time. This three-year-old son of the legendary Giant’s Causeway out of a Distorted Humor mare, was purchased by Donegal for just $75,000 as a yearling at Keeneland.
For Donegal it was a second Secretariat Stakes win. In 2010 Keen Ice won the race and was one of only two horses to beat the Triple Crown winning American Pharoah. Carrick is yet to hit the track again but his trainer Tom Morley will be looking to continue his winning run.