Best Jockey (2001)

Michael J. McCarthy

At five feet nine inches tall, Michael McCarthy is an unlikely jockey -- until you realize he weighs only 110 pounds, at least during racing season. (Off-season he lets his weight balloon to 128 pounds.) To maintain his slender build, McCarthy eats like a supermodel. To maintain his competitive edge, he works harder than most jockeys half his size. In season at Gulfstream Park, you'll find him out there early in the morning exercising the horses, a practice other big-name jockeys frequently eschew. There's just something beautiful about McCarthy, nicknamed the Flamingo, guiding a mount around the track. And when you realize the determination he needs to prosper in this cutthroat vocation, the sight is all the more inspiring.


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