Long weekend lucky

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

Clay Brinson is at the peak of the trainers standings at Assiniboia Downs thanks to a May long weekend that saw him win again and again and again.

Brinson, who spends his summers in Winnipeg and winters in Arizona at Turf Paradise, watched eight of his horses gallop to victory during the holiday weekend and five more finish in the money.

For the record, Brinson ran 15 horses on the weekend and 13 came in third or better. That's what you call a successful weekend at the track.

"I think it is pretty rare," Brinson said of his feat. "I don't know exactly how many I run, but it is (rare) for me anyway.

"I've won three or four in a weekend, but I've never won eight."

The weekend couldn't have started off much better for Brinson, as his horse Wild Gold Knight won the first race last Friday night, with Hot Off the Bench claiming Race 7 and Solly's Dolly concluded the evening by out-dueling Vying Vixen by a nose.

Wild Gold Knight was claimed after the race, ending Brinson's tenure as its trainer.

Saturday was much of same. Chief Storm Cloud took the first race of the night for Brinson. On Sunday, Brinson's horses Yankee Beauty and Lady Lombardia found the winner's circle, while Monday had the duo of Vini Vidi Vici and Blueskycat earn wins.

Brinson didn't use any special carrots to get his horses ready for their race and it seems the races just lined up in his favour.

"It just happened that those horses that were running happened to fall on four days in a row," Brinson said, who has stuck with jockey David Lopez for most of his wins. Lopez is tied with Alan Cuthbertson for the lead in the jockey standings with 10 wins each.

"They are all live horses and they run well. That's basically what happened."

One advantage Brinson does have is that his horses run all year. They dash around Assiniboia Downs in the summer and move to Turf Paradise for the winter.

"My horses are fit and have been running in Phoenix," he said. "We have a little bit of an edge right now because they're fit and some of the other guys aren't quite ready yet."

The key to seeing horses do well is running them against the same calibre of horses, according to Brinson.

"I run them where they belong," Brinson said. "I do not get high on them. Nobody would like a good horse better than me, but I am realistic about where they should run. If a horse is a $5,000 horse he runs for five or maybe even three. You got to run them where they can win if you're going to do any good in this business."

Brinson had two wins in seven starts prior to last weekend, but now has a four-win lead over Melvin Davis in the trainer standings. Brinson also has a massive 48% winning percentage and a 79% in the money percentage, but the lead might be tightened after this weekend.

With another weekend of racing set hit the Downs again tonight, Brinson is pretty sure he won't see his win total shoot up that high again.

"I've got four horses going this weekend. It doesn't look good for that," he chuckled.


Videos

Photos