O’Connor up in Time To Capture G2 Hagyard Fayette

October 28, 2023

O’ Connor (outside) prevails in the Fayette (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Michael and Julia Iavarone and Fernando Vine Ode’s O’Connor (CHI) prevailed in a three-way photo finish to post a head victory in the 66th running of the Hagyard Fayette (G2) on Saturday’s closing day of the Keeneland Fall Meet.

Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. for his first Keeneland stakes victory, O’Connor was one of 25 winners during the season for leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione. O’Connor covered 1 1/8 miles on a dirt track labeled fast in 1:50.61.

Bred by Haras Carioca, O’Connor is by Boboman out of the Touch Gold mare Torrente de Agua. He earned $179,025 for the Hagyard Fayette victory, his 11th in 26 career starts, and increased his bankroll to $660,969. A Group 1 winner in his native Chile, O’Connor made his North American debut at Gulfstream Park in October 2022. The Hagyard Fayette was his first win in North America.

O’Connor paid $12.92, $6.86 and $4.96. Il Miracolo, ridden by Luis Saez, paid $6.22 and $4.82. Finishing a head behind in third was Speed Bias, who paid $6.60 under Ricardo Santana Jr.

Twilight Blue was fourth and was followed by Dash Attack, Law Professor, Trademark and Happy American.

The Hagyard Fayette was one of three stakes at Keeneland today. In the others, Runaway Storm won the $297,307 Bryan Station (G3) and Glengarry took the $169,775 Bowman Mill.

Quotes from the Hagyard Fayette (G2)

Tyler Gaffalione (winning rider of O’Connor [CHI])

“He was very game, and it was very hard-fought. He took everything that was thrown at him. He was loving his position going around the turn. I was really happy with where I was at. Coming into the stretch he kept finding more, and every time I asked him he responded. All the credit goes to (trainer) Saffie (Joseph Jr.) and his team. They brought him over here ready to run. I was just fortunate to be the passenger today.”

On being the meet’s leading rider:

“It’s been amazing. I love coming to Keeneland. The horsemen and everyone here are so great to me. We’ve had a lot of success, and we always have a good time.”

Luis Saez (rider of runner-up Il Maracolo)

“I had a good trip. I was in the middle (coming down the stretch). I was trying to win the race and keep my horse in my lane, but I felt pressure from the outside.”

Martin Garcia (rider of seventh-place finisher and beaten favorite Trademark)

“It was not his day today. I had a really good position outside and he broke good but when it was time to start running, he didn’t fire.”

@jonathanstettin eaaaaaaaaaazy winner.

Ryan Cimino @smcimino2 View testimonials