About Matthew B. O'Connor
Matthew B. O'Connor was born in Manhassett, New York, just a few miles from Belmont Park. He was first exposed to the sport of kings as an infant in Saratoga Springs, New York, his father's birth city, as his father had an interest in a horse in the Oklahoma Annex barn of Dennis Brida, and his passion for the sport has blossomed ever since.
In 2006, Matthew's uncle Anthony ventured into the sport as an owner, with his horses being trained by Dominick Schettino. It was here where Matthew started to learn basic horsemanship at the youthful age of nine years old. Over the next decade, Matthew could be found getting a ride from his parents, getting picked up by his uncle John, or pedaling his way on bicycle for two miles to get to the barn every chance he had.
In March of 2014, Matthew received his hot walker licensed and began working for Dominick Schettino, and in just two and a half years made his way up to the ranks of foreman. While with Schettino, Matthew worked with grade one winner Greenpointcrusader as well as assisted in the early development of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, both owned by his uncle Anthony in partnership with Vinnie Viola's St. Elias Stables. In 2016, Matthew graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School and started college at Long Island University. Here he excelled as a business major, and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, an exclusive international business honor society, as well as Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, both in his first year. After his first year of college, Matthew began assisting grade one winning trainer Robert Falcone Jr. prior to moving into the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, where he spent the following two years gaining more knowledge from his mentor. Along with the move into Zito's barn, O'Connor transferred into the the prestigious Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona, where he graduated from, one semester early, in December of 2019.
O'Connor is pleased to see a lifelong passion come to fruition, but still is not satisfied. As a young trainer he is hungry, determined and ready to make a name for himself in the greatest sport in the world, horse racing.