BALTIMORE – After deciding to enter their horse in the Preakness, owners Steven Brandt and Ric Boylan got to talking over dinner about the possibility their trainer, Linda Rice, might make racing history. Then they wondered: Might they share a first, too, and perhaps a “Michael Sam moment.”
“We thought, ‘Wow, it would be great for Linda to be the first woman (trainer) to win a Triple Crown (race),” Brandt said before this week’s annual Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course, where he and Boylan were introduced as owners of Kid Cruz, a 20-1 shot in the morning line.
“And he (Boylan) said, ‘Well, you know, we might be, I don’t know that we are, but it’s quite possible we could the first married gay couple to win a Triple Crown (race) or to even be in one.’
“Of course, you don’t know who’s in other partnerships that race. But we kind of were thinking, ‘Wow, that would be kind of nice.’ ”
Brandt, 56, and Boylan, 57, who live in St. Pete Beach, Fla., are partners in Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds, a small stable. They married in Washington, D.C., in 2010 after a long relationship.
They’ll be rooting for their horse today.
“We were laughing. … I hope we get a Michael Sam moment,” said Brandt.
Sam, who last week became the first openly gay college football player to be selected in the NFL draft, kissed his boyfriend on national television after he was chosen by the St. Louis Rams.
Brandt said he is well aware that amidst support for Sam there was some backlash.
“I have not experienced any issues in the Thoroughbred business, but you see what happens (with) the video of Michael Sam and his boyfriend celebrating after the draft pick,” said Brandt.
“I thought. ‘Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do if we win. I might kiss him, and the cameras will be there, and we’ll have our own Michael Sam moment. I can only hope.’ “