03/29/2014 5:27PM

Laurel Park winter meet ends with four-way tie atop trainer standings


When Kieron Magee won with his final starter of Laurel Park’s winter meet on Friday afternoon, he moved into what he figured was only a temporary tie for first place in the trainer standings with Hugh McMahon, Juan Vazquez, and Claudio Gonzalez.

Magee, who has just 22 horses in his barn, had no starters on closing day Saturday, so he was stuck at 19 wins. But when McMahon and Gonzalez combined to go 0 for 7 on Laurel’s last day of racing, the four-way tie remained intact.

“Who saw that coming?” Magee said. “After we won our 19th yesterday the others had 20 shots to win a race. I kept waiting for somebody to win a race and as every race went by today I kept thinking we had a chance though my wife and I left after the eighth because I thought Hugh  would win the last race.

“As I walked out Hugh sent me a text that said ‘good luck’. That was a classy move. Juan just called to congratulate me. I couldn’t be happier. I have 22 horses. Hugh has 80 in training. Juan has more than 70. Four years ago, I had four or five horses. To win a share of the title, believe me, I am thrilled.”

Vazuez came close to breaking the tie when his 4-year-old colt Cotton Won was caught by 15-1 shot Dancin n’ Dealin in the final jump of the eighth race.

There was no drama involving the race for leading rider. Trevor McCarthy, 19, finished with 54 winners, 16 ahead of runner-up Victor Carrasco, the 2013 Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s top apprentice.

 “I really would have liked a chance at winning the Eclipse Award last year but I got hurt,” said McCarthy, who missed five months last season with a broken leg. “So my goal is to get near Carrasco’s stats as an apprentice before I lose the bug on April 19.”

Carrasco finished his apprentice year with 228 victories and nearly $4.7 million in earnings. McCarthy has 212 winners with $5.6 million in earnings.

Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. topped the owner standings with 12 victories.

Live racing shifts in Maryland shifts to Pimlico on Thursday for the 35-day spring meeting, headlined by the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes on May 17.