December 26 promises to be one of the most important days in the history of 1/ST Racing. It’s opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita, opening day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park and host date of the Christmastide Day stakes card at Laurel Park. All month, 1/ST BET will prepare you for a 26th of December to Remember with special content.
One of the featured events that day at Santa Anita will be the Grade 2 Mathis Mile on turf. The $200,000 contest was known as the Sir Beaufort Stakes until its 2014 re-naming and its notable winners include Kip Deville, Gio Ponti and Om. But the last two editions have seen trainer Michael McCarthy make a name for himself in this race, winning back-to-back with Smooth Like Strait (2020) and Law Professor (2021).
McCarthy is best known outside California for his 2021 Preakness winner Rombauer as well as Breeders’ Cup champions City of Light (2018 Dirt Mile) and Ce Ce (2021 Filly & Mare Sprint). City of Light also added the Pegasus World Cup in 2019.
Here’s the McCarthy file as we wait to see if he’ll have a three-peat bid in this year’s Mathis Mile (nominations close Dec. 12).
Born: Youngstown, OH
Raised: Arcadia, CA
First Full Season as Head Trainer: 2014
Best Season: 2021 (61 wins, $6.9 million earnings … both career highs)
First Grade 1 Win: 2016 Gamely at Santa Anita (Illuminant)
Notable: Spent 11 years as assistant to Todd Pletcher
Career Stats from Equibase
Win Percentage: 16.2%
Stable Earnings: $28.4 million
The 26th of December to Remember Stakes Lineup
Gulfstream Park | Championship Meet | Opening Day
$100K Tropical Park Derby
$100K Tropical Park Oaks
Santa Anita | Classic Meet | Opening Day
$300K G1 Malibu
$300K G1 American Oaks
$300K G1 La Brea
$200K G2 Mathis Mile
$200K G2 San Antonio
$200K G2 San Gabriel
Laurel Park | Christmastide Day Stakes
$100K Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move