Written by Mike Milazzo
Original Publish Date June 2015
When American Pharoah crossed the finish line of the Belmont Stakes and won Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown in 37 years, Brett Brinkman was jubilant with the realization that a stallion he stands had a part in that monumental feat.
American Pharoah’s sire is Pioneer of the Nile. His dam is Littleprincessemma, and his dam sire is Yankee Gentleman. Yankee Gentleman stands at stud at Brinkman’s Le Mesa Stallions in Carencro, LA.
“When a horse you stand is a sire of a broodmare that produces a Triple Crown winner, it definitely raises the stallion to another level,” says Brinkman.
Yankee Gentleman has been on Brinkman’s farm for 5 years. The horse has bred other strong Thoroughbreds, including several stakes race winners in Louisiana. Although Yankee Gentleman did not reach the pinnacle of racing success like his grandson, the horse did tear up the track in his heyday. Brinkman said he’s thrilled to have a horse like Yankee Gentleman and he’s been watching American Pharoah’s career from the start.
Yankee Gentleman is a triple threat: he can produce quality runners, stallions, and broodmares. “He was a stakes winner on the racetrack and has produced graded stakes horses,” Brinkman says. The horse has also produced a couple of stallions that are now standing at stud, E Z Gentleman and Ive Struck a Nerve. “He has been a very, very above level sire. To have him in Louisiana and have him in our program here is quite exceptional.”
Brinkman goes on to say, “A stallion is graded off of his progeny. In that regard, Yankee Gentle has checked all the boxes as far as the results his horses are achieving.”
“The lineage is there,” says Brinkman. “It proves to you that he is capable of passing on those kinds of traits to his progeny to win those types of races. It’s just remarkable.”
“It’s just another added feature to his resume now, that if you have a filly by him, she can become a very good broodmare and has the genes to pass on to her offspring,” says Brinkman.
Brinkman says it’s all about the bloodline when it comes to Yankee Gentleman. He has a bloodline that will keep on growing.
“He’s 16 now, you know, still doing his job very well and successfully,” says Brinkman. “So we’ll ride the wave as long as he wants to do the job. I am hopeful that Yankee Gentleman will continue producing winners for several years to come.”
In closing, Brinkman says, “The fact that we had a Louisiana bred in last year’s Kentucky Derby, and now a Triple Crown winner with ties to a stallion standing in Louisiana, is great for the Louisiana program. We’ve always had great horses and horseman in the area, but now that they are showing up at an elite level and we’re making our mark, it’s definitely elevating our business.”