Updated on 03/10/2015 4:04PM

McCarthy happy to return to saddle

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Trevor McCarthy ranked seventh among jockeys in North America last year with 263 wins.

This has been a very long winter, just ask Trevor McCarthy.

McCarthy, the leading rider in Maryland, broke his right wrist during the gallop-out following a race at Laurel Park on Dec. 20. He will resume riding Thursday at Gulfstream Park, where he has three mounts.

“The last couple of months have been some of the most boring in my life,” McCarthy said. “I did some nice things. I visited my family in Florida. I went to upstate New York and visited my grandparents, but it’s been hard.”

McCarthy, 20, also has been named on six horses Friday at Gulfstream. He will then return to Maryland and begin riding at Laurel Park on Saturday, according to his agent, Scott Silver. It has not been easy for McCarthy to step away from the sport while his wrist healed.

“If I’m home, I end up watching the races on TV, so then I’ll decide to go out to Laurel,” he said. “But sometimes I leave halfway through the card. I just get mad about myself watching horses I’ve ridden win for other riders.”

McCarthy was injured following the second race Dec. 20. He had just finished second and was easing up on his mount when the winner collapsed from exhaustion and came into his path. McCarthy said his horse “slammed on the brakes,” and he came off.

“I was kind of bracing myself when I saw the horse go down and landed on my wrist,” he said. “I knew right away it was broken. It was deformed.”

The good news is that the break was clean and did not require surgery.

“My wrist is excellent,” McCarthy said. “Whenever you break a wrist, there are worries about range of motion and strength, but I got very lucky, and it feels great.”

McCarthy led all riders in Maryland by wins in 2013 but had his breakout season last year. He was the leading rider at all three Maryland meets, finished seventh in North America in races won with 263, and was 20th on the money list with mount earnings of $8.1 million.

He also won the first two graded stakes of his career, the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on Fortune Pearl and the Grade 3 Boiling Springs on Munirah. Both horses are trained by Graham Motion, whom McCarthy has known since he was a kid.

McCarthy’s father, Mike, won more than 2,900 races and six Delaware riding titles before retiring in 2002. Among the races he won for Motion was the 2000 Delaware Oaks with Sincerely.

“I can’t thank Graham enough for all he’s done for me; I don’t know how to thank him,” Trevor McCarthy said. “When I was in high school and it was time for me to get a job, my dad took me to Fair Hill, and Graham was thrilled to help me out. I started galloping for him when I was 15.”

When McCarthy’s wrist healed and he was cleared to begin getting on horses, he went to Florida and began exercising horses for Motion.

McCarthy is goal-oriented. Right now, he has his sights set on defending his Pimlico riding title this spring. When Pimlico closes June 6, Maryland racing will shut down until Aug. 1.

“I plan to ride at Monmouth this summer, and my goal is to beat the 44 races I won last year,” he said. “We’ll be riding at Monmouth Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and Delaware or Parx on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I just want to ride seven days a week.”

McCarthy’s winter vacation is over ... thankfully.