TYLER GAFFALIONE, LIAM THE CHARMER, WINNER: “Mike said to not rush him out of there and let him find his footing. He put himself in the spot he needed to be and we saved all the ground. Going into the far turn I let him go in between horses and then kicked him out coming into the stretch and he really finished up nicely. All the credit goes to Mike and his entire team. They’ve done a great job with this horse.”


GARY STEVENS, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, SECOND: “He ran a winning race. I couldn’t believe we were getting passed, because my horse was running. The winner’s a nice horse, no question.”





MICHAEL McCARTHY, LIAM THE CHARMER, WINNER: “He’s pretty easy to fall in love with; he’s always been a nice horse. This graded stake is probably a year and a half overdo.

“He’s just hitting his best stride now that he’s five. He’s like molasses. He just goes through the motions every day. He’s a horse that doesn’t give a whole lot of inclination that he’s real good, that he’s real bad, he just sort of goes about his job and obviously does it quite well, as we saw today.

“I’ll go ahead and talk to Sol Kumin and everybody else and who knows, maybe he bought himself a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup. I can’t say enough about this horse. He’s like the furniture. Everybody loves him, everybody loves riding him.”


PETER EURTON, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, SECOND:  “With him, we take it race to race at this stage.  He’s a trooper when he gets his trip as you saw today. He didn’t run his race at Del Mar (sixth in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 18). Gary didn’t ride him down there and he got covered up and couldn’t get going.  Gary rode a great race today, he really did. The winner’s a nice horse, he just gunned us down.”



Donna Cenicola, wife of the late Lewis Cenicola, who was the exercise rider of John Henry, presents the Turf Championship trophy, to the winning groom, Jose Mercado. Fittingly, Mercado was also the groom to John Henry.

Trainer Michael McCarthy has a moment with Liam the Charmer after their victory in the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship, Sunday, September 30, 2018 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.