Updated on 09/16/2011 8:40AM

McCarthy hanging up tack


Closing weekend at Delaware Park will also mark the end of an era.

Jockey Mike McCarthy, the dominant rider at Delaware for the last seven seasons, will retire this Sunday when the meet ends.

Since moving his tack from Philadelphia Park in 1996, McCarthy, 39, has been king of the hill. Heading into the final week of the season, McCarthy is on his way to finishing as the track's leading rider for the sixth time in seven years.

Through Sunday, McCarthy has 151 winners, 15 more than Jeremy Rose, who dethroned McCarthy last year. In a 21-year career, McCarthy has ridden 2,909 winners, and his mounts collected $44.5 million in purses.

Even though his skills are still sharp, "I think I've lost my desire to continue," McCarthy said.

At 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches, McCarthy can still ride at 114 pounds, but, he said, "My body has told me it has had enough."

McCarthy plans to open a small public stable in Florida this winter and to come back to Delaware as a trainer in 2003.

McCarthy set a Delaware record with 218 victories in 1997 and tied a record by twice riding six winners on a nine-race card.