Owner of racehorse from Frederick, Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) --This weekend, all eyes will be on the Belmont Stakes, the third and final jewel of the Triple Crown of horse racing.

One of the competitors in the Easy Goer stakes before the day's big race is owned by Steven Brandt, who grew up in Frederick, Maryland.

Brandt said he got hooked on horses as a child, going to the races in Charlestown, West Virginia. And he was always encouraged by his mother.

"She was my biggest supporter. Always has been. She's my Mom," he said.

In January, Steven Brandt's dying mother made a stunning prediction.

Brandt recalled, "She sat up and she said you're going to the Triple Crown and you're going to win a race!"

Just months before, Brandt and his husband Rick Boylan bought a little known horse named Kid Cruz.

"And I thought, wow, she had never said that to me my whole life. Every time I would buy a horse, every time, 'Oh my God, please tell me you didn't spend more money on a horse! Please tell me you didn't spend more money," he said, laughing.

The couple paid just $50,000, a bargain in the horse racing industry. And months later, they were at the track in Laurel watching their horse, in dead last.

As Brandt described, "And the horse is way behind. At some point, he was like 25 lengths behind and I remember thinking and I didn't say it out loud, oh Mom, 'I don't think you're right on this one.'"

But Kid Cruz came out of nowhere.

"I just remember feeling, 'Oh my God, he's going to win. He's going to win!'"

He did.

Said Brandt says, "The adrenalin… it just… overtakes you."

That race and others catapulted Kid Cruz to compete at a higher level. He came in 8th at Preakness and is headed to Belmont.

"Makes me a little emotional," said Brandt, his eyes brimming with tears. "I said if he doesn't do anything else, this is just like the greatest gift of all because this is our first horse of this caliber and we won a race and we won it at our home track in Maryland."

When Brandt watches his horse race at Belmont Park, he won't be alone. He will carry a photo of his late mother in his pocket, along with the memory of her prediction.

"As corny as it is, she'll be sitting right there at the table and at race time, I'll tuck her in and we'll go down," he smiled.


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