Mott runner aims for turf TD

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Bill Mott leaned against the outside rail inside the winner’s circle at Pimlico, the bright Baltimore sun of Preakness Day hitting him as he watched the replay of the James W. Murphy Stakes.

The Hall of Famer agreed to do a radio interview, as long as he could still watch Yoshida get the better of his 11 opponents in the 1-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds. The obligatory questions were asked about the colt’s 4-length victory, his trip, winning on Preakess Day and so on, before the subject of Cigar came up as the interview wound down.

“Cigar brought us here, but we’ve had a number of good winners here,” Mott said. “We always hope our horses and ourselves are all healthy enough to come back to do it again.”

Finally the topic came to New England Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick, who presented the winner’s trophy for the Murphy. When asked if it was “neat” to have the five-time Super Bowl winner in the winner’s circle on such a big day, Mott responded in a way that is, well, classic Mott.

“I suppose, but it was also neat to have Yoshida in the winner’s circle,” he said, not deriding the interviewer but clearly making his point. “That’s the main thing for me.”

To read the rest of the Hall of Fame Stakes preview, download Friday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special.