01/06/2015 1:46PM

Carrasco, Russell pick up slack at Laurel

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Jockey Victor Carrasco (above) has taken advantage of the absence of leading rider Trevor McCarthy.

When Maryland’s leading rider, Trevor McCarthy, broke his wrist Dec. 20 at Laurel Park, it opened up the playing field for everyone else.

Not all that surprisingly, Victor Carrasco, who finished second to McCarthy at all three Maryland meets in 2014, has been the main beneficiary. Sheldon Russell also has done well.

Carrasco, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2013, has gone 10 for 42 (24 percent) on the six cards that Laurel has had since McCarthy was injured. Carrasco won four races on New Year’s Day.

Russell is 7 for 34 (21 percent) in McCarthy’s absence. He had a big Saturday last week, winning the $100,000 Nellie Morse on Star Pearl and the $100,000 Native Dancer on Elnaawi back-to-back.

Four riders are tied for third with four wins in McCarthy’s absence: Fray Martinez, Yomar Ortiz, Julian Pimentel, and Michael Ritvo.

Last Saturday, Ritvo rode at Parx rather than Laurel, winning two races there.