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McCarthy hopes his Irish eyes are smiling in winners circle Saturday
Stars were aligned for jockey to get call on Pierrot Lunaire
AFTER A SLOW START to his riding career in this country, the sun is starting to shine on Willie McCarthy. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
Everyone wants to dance with the homecoming queen. But getting that chance is usually reserved for the guy who brought her to the ball.There are those rare occasions however, when a wandering eye leads one astray.In a roundabout way, that is how Willie McCarthy grabbed the ride aboard 2012 Eclipse Award winner for steeplechasing and last year’s National steeplechase Association Lonesome Glory Champions Award recipient Pierrot Lunaire.Last fall, Pierrot Lunaire came from, virtually, out of nowhere to score an upset win --- at odds of better than 49-to-1 --- to capture the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont Park. The then-8-year-old War Chant gelding followed that by giving owner Mrs. Calvin Houghland a victory in this country’s richest steeplechase, the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills, N.J., holding off Divine Fortune by three-quarters of a length.Camden’s Bernie Dalton was in the irons for Pierrot Lunaire’s two scores which sewed up the aforementioned awards.