Brett Brinkman Has High Hopes for Old Homestead in Six-Furlong Dash
BALTIMORE – Trainer Brett Brinkman overcame a severe bout of Covid that landed him in the hospital not long ago. Fully recovered, the Louisiana-based horseman now hopes to wind up in the Pimlico Race Course winner’s circle Saturday with what would be his first “official” graded-stakes victory when he sends out Marablue Farm and Pegasus Stud’s Old Homestead in the $200,000 Chick Lang (G3).
The 47th running of the six-furlong Chick Lang for 3-year-olds is among 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.75 million in purses on a spectacular 14-race program headlined by the 147th renewal of the Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Other graded-stakes on the card are the $250,000 Dinner Party (G2) for 3-year-olds and up and $150,000 Gallorette (G3) for fillies and mares 3 and older, each at 1 1/16 miles on the grass; $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3), a six-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up, and $100,000 UAE President Cup (G1) for Arabian horses.
First race post time is 10:30 a.m.
Brinkman will be on hand Saturday at Pimlico to saddle undefeated Old Homestead in the Chick Lang and, as trainer of record, try to register his first graded-stakes win. A filly developed and trained by Brinkman, Cilla, won the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga last September. But, since Brinkman chose not to travel to New York and turned the filly over to trainer Charlton Baker for that one race, did not receive credit for it.
He will if Old Homestead prevails in the Chick Lang.
“That would be great,” said Brinkman, who has saddled more than 600 winners. “It’s why you get up early every morning and put in the hours we put in. Branching out from Louisiana has always been a goal of mine, and wanting to climb up that ladder in the industry, it would mean a ton.”
Old Homestead easily won his first two races against overmatched company at Delta Downs earlier in the year before heading to Keeneland and successfully taking a step up in class, winning the seven-furlong, $400,000 Lafayette by 3 ¾ lengths.
“It’s always a question coming off that sandy bullring [at Delta Downs] whether they’re going to make the next step,” Brinkman said. “Running against horses that had won multiple races, there was a little anxiety, and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy he did it.”
And “a little anxiety” is nothing compared to the scare Brinkman experienced when he came down with Covid in September 2020.
“Anytime you can’t walk 15 feet without running out of air, you tend to get concerned,” Brinkman said, recounting the experience. “When you’re in a hospital bed and they’ve got IV’s in you, and people in hazmat suits coming in to take care of you, it changes your whole perspective on things.”
Brinkman recovered. But he said two close family members weren’t as fortunate and died from the virus.
Old Homestead, a Florida-bred son of Overanalyze, will be ridden by regular jockey Thomas Pompell and will face eight challengers, including a pair of Steve Asmussen-trained colts – Chasing Time and Cogburn – as well as recent stakes winners Whelen Springs and Lightening Larry.
Cogburn is emerging from a close second-place finish behind Whelen Springs in the six-furlong Bachelor at Oaklawn Park while Chasing Time is cutting back in distance following two off-the-board finishes in the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1).
“We’re shortening Chasing Time back up, which he needs,” Asmussen said. “Cogburn is coming off a second in the Bachelor in a very fast time [1:09.68].”
Lightening Larry won the Limehouse in January at Gulfstream Park before running second in his most recent race, the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Jorge Delgado.
Others entered in the Chick Lang are Alottahope, Doctor Jeff, Little Vic and My Handsome Man.
Maryland Jockey Club Press Release
Photo of Lightening Larry from Maryland Jockey Club