The McCarthy brothers made history on an unforgettable North American Cup Night

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Todd McCarthy’s win with Pebble Beach made him the third McCarthy brother to win a multi-million dollar harness race.

by Bob Heyden

There’s a lot of history to be written on Saturday (June 18) at Pepsi’s North American Cup Night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Let’s get straight to the biggie:

McCarthy’s third brother has now won the million-dollar race.

Luke McCarthy won the 2020, 2021 and 2022 million dollars Miracle Mile at Menangle Park in New South Wales, Australia. He and wife Belinda also train and they also race with the 2022 runner-up Spirit Of St Louis.

Andrew McCarthy won the 2020 Hambletonian with Ramona Hill in a record time of 1:50.1 for a million seeds.

Todd McCarthy just won the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup with Pebble Beach for coach Noel Daley.

Never have three driving brothers each won a multimillion-dollar seat belt race. And, they changed the trick in three different countries.

Their father, John McCarthy, who was also a back-to-back Miracle Miles winner in 2005-2006 with Be Good Johnny, had this to say about his son:

“I’m so proud of them… I miss having them with me at home, but I’m glad to see them doing well there. They all have different styles in the way they drive. Thanks to Andy’s wife Kat and Noel Daley. I’ve been friends with Noel for years. It all started with Noel. I’m proud they all remain good people. I used to tell them, ‘It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be a good person.’”

John and his wife Narelle live in Cobbitty, New South Wales and he is still dabbling with horses.

And if Andy can win the Hambletonian—the only million-dollar race remaining in 2022—that means all three McCarthy brothers will win the million-dollar race that same year.

Oh, and in every three million dollar race the McCarthy brothers won, they were the stakes.


Coach Brett Pelling finished the game 1-2 at Fan Hanover with Treacherous Dragon and Wickedly Innocent. No surprises there. Pelling is the only coach to lead 1-2 in the Meadowlands Pace finals — 2005 Rocknroll Hanover and Village Jolt. He is also the only coach to play 1-2 at Little Brown Jug, twice—2004 Timesareachanging and Western Terror and also in 1998 with Shady Character and Cam Knows Best. Pelling was also dead-hot at Cane Pace 2004 with Timesareachanging and Western Terror.

On the same NA Cup card, Pelling also won Roses Are Red with the Horse of the Year Test Of Faith.


Treacherous Dragon and Wickedly Innocent excel as cage mates at Fan Hanover, but did you know they were also raised together at White Birch Farm in New Jersey? Has anyone seen this film before? Yes. In 2003, a pair of mares named Darlins Delight and My Little Dragon were born and raised together at White Birch Farm. They both raced from 2005-2009 with Darlins Delight earning an astounding $2,901,926 and My Little Dragon winning three Breeders Crowns and setting a women’s world race record of 1:48.1 with $2.3 million earned alone. Did I mention that my Little Dragon is competing for Noel Daley, Pebble Beach’s trainer, and is the Traitor’s Dragon dam too?


You would never have seen this 40-50 years ago.

Two Hambletonian winners — three and four years after winning it — jointly won with the same card in another country.

Forbidden Trading and Atlanta both won at NA Cup Night.

When Atlanta won Saturday’s Armbro Flight at Mohawk, it finished ahead of two Hambletonian Oaks winners—2019 When Dovescry Oaks winner and 2021 winner Bella Bellini third.


Atlanta surpassed Manchgeo on the all-time earnings list with its win at Armbro Flight. Both were foals from 2015 and both have now surpassed $3.1 million.


Coach Noel Daley went through 11 years between the million-dollar triumph of the 2011 Hambletonian win with Broad Bahn to Saturday’s NA Cup win with Pebble Beach.


Saturday’s cards closed with a $1.9 million bet into the Hi-5 Jackpot. Quietly, finishing second — at 39-1 — was Bolt Power for coach Harry Poulton, who owns UTRS. from .362. He is the richest pioneering coach ever: On The Road Again in 1983-1985. He also coached the fastest horse ever (1:48.2 TT 1988) Matts Scooter, which was Horse of the Year 1989.


The fraction for the North American Cup is exactly the same for each round: :27.3 then :27.2, then :27.3 followed by :27.2. One:55 half followed by another.


The Sons of Somebeachsomewhere are second and third in the NA Cup — and the winner is a grandson. That’s it, people. It was SBSW’s last result to compete in the NA Cup.

Late plants can produce some large ones. Balanced Image did it with Arch Madness and Cam Fella with Eternal Camnation.


This year’s NA Cup had no Ron Burke, no Nancy Takter, and no female coach. The latter is especially important as five of the last seven NA Cups have gone to women coaches, with Takter back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.

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