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Picture: Trevor McCarthy (NYRA).

 
USA jockey Trevor McCarthy could end a memorable year on a high note as he has a chance in the Group 1 Breeders Cup Filly And Mare sprint on the hard-knocking Thomas Albertrani-trained Sterling Silver.
 
McCarthy and his wife Katie Davis created something of a legacy for themselves in “the Empire State” by inspiring a new state law.
 
The couple, after relocating to New York after their wedding in December 2020, were astonished to discover a law that stated married couples riding in the same race in New York had to be coupled on the Tote.
 
They estimated they had raced against each other at least 500 times before and feared the ruling would discourage trainers from giving them rides.
 
Coupled horses go off at the same odds, which are always cramped due to the punter having two chances to win with one bet.
 
The TDN estimated that, on average, each time the coupling rule goes into effect, the NYRA loses about $90,000 in handle because of the loss of a betting interest.
 
Davis soon became adamant the NYRA was instructing trainers not to give her rides.
 
“It is 2021, and you shouldn’t be able to stop people from making a living,” Davis said in a BloodHorse story early last year.
 
Lawmakers on Oct. 13 last year delivered to Gov. Kathy Hochul legislation final approval to end the New York racing rule. 
 
Legislation had been approved in Albany earlier in the year to rescind what a bill memo from its sponsors called a “sexist and outdated” rule by the state’s Gaming Commission.
 
The memo stated that the rule “limits women jockeys from fully pursuing their chosen career” by mandating that all horses trained or ridden by a spouse, parent, or member of a jockey’s household be coupled in the betting with any horse ridden by, in the case of McCarthy and Davis, each other. 
 

The bill passed, unanimously, in the Assembly in May and in the Senate in June. 

It was fitting then that in May this year McCarthy, who has ridden 1,756 career winners, won his first Grade 1 race at the major New York racecourse Belmont Park on the Graham Motion-trained Highland Chief (Gleneagles) in the Man O’ War Stakes. His mount was the biggest outsider in the five horse field.
 
Meanwhile, Katie had her first ride back last month after giving birth to daughter Riley last December.