Mohawk (NYB) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Thomas Morley, winning trainer of Brother O'Connell (No. 5): "I had a feeling he could handle it, but I didn't think I could beat Ralph Nicks' horse [Tapitation, No. 8]. Johnny [Velazquez] gave him an absolute peach of a ride. He never let them get a breather in next to him. On the backside, he gave the horse half a moment just to catch his breath. As soon as Tapitation came to him, I didn't think he'd get by. It's a testament to our horse. He's come a long way this year."

"It's a big park, you've got to take a shot now and again. We've run on the dirt before. I knew this horse has freshened up since Saratoga. His three breezes had been excellent, so I knew we had a shot of getting a piece of it today."

"I think they could have went around again. At the 5/16 pole, I thought he [Tapitation] was going to go by us. He maybe should have gone on, because this horse is gutsy as hell. Johnny said to me, 'I'm more tired than the horse, because he can just keep going.'"

"He'll come to the Fair Grounds with me this winter. He's improving all the time. The stake program down there lends itself to a horse like this. He won't have a hard winter campaign. We'll target the state-bred states when we come back up. I'd like to keep him going through the winter. I call it more of a working holiday."

John Velazquez, winning jockey of Brother O'Connell (No. 5): "It worked out good. We broke well. We wanted to be close or on the lead and we ended up inheriting the lead passing the five-eighths pole. At first, he was all by himself on the lead and when the other horse [Tapitation] came to him, he started fighting so that horse was a good companion down the lane."

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