Krantz Stable Updates

We're Back!

"Just wait... time passes. The storms of life have calmed a bit. The landscape may have been drastically changed but the survivors are here and ready to get on with it. After three years of being lashed by one storm after the next we are now looking forward to the rebuilding." - August 15, 2005

...and then the big one hit. In the time right after Katrina I posted several short emails to this list to let everyone know what was happening in the aftermath of the storm. As weeks past into months our family recovery began to take every ounce of energy we could muster. Many tragedies were borne by Katrina. In our lives there has been loss, repair, recovery and revelation since the end of August of 2005. The losses are memories etched in our minds with emotion and finality. The rebuilding and recovery process will take many years. The revelation is God does have a plan. We were confident after the Fair Grounds fire in 1993 of our ability to return to racing and have a great future. The sale of our interest of the business in 2004 came with bitterness but with the benefit of hindsight as we survey the market for racing/slots in New Orleans in 2007 the situation is bleak for Fair Grounds. Now almost three years since the sale of the track and two years since Katrina life is finally beginning to come back into focus.

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Changing Channels

Just wait…  time passes.  The storms of life have calmed a bit.  The landscape may have been drastically changed but the survivors are here and ready to get on with it.  After three years of being lashed by one storm after the next we are now looking forward to the rebuilding.

Destin has a different feel this year.  The beach town has been buffeted by storms too.  The beach has been worn away.  As always, the continued development barely slows for the furry of a hurricane.  The crystal white sands will soon be returned to the stately demeanor of the past.  For now, we will enjoy it, as it exists.  Sort of like our own situation.

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End of Fair Grounds Report

It's that time of year. Spring has sprung. The clocks have been set forward and the kids are thinking about the countdown to summer. It was amazing how quickly the time flew from Thanksgiving to Easter. With only two horses in the racing stable this year for the Fair Grounds race meet there was enough action to keep our full attention.

Destiny Calls' falter in the Louisiana Champions Day Distaff was softened by her win in Delta Downs' Premier Night Distaff for the second year. Later, on a dreary day in early March she dominated the field in the prep race for the Red Camelia Handicap run on a watery sloppy track in a driving rain at Fair Grounds. Her next start would be the Red Camelia on Easter Sunday, the last day of the racing season.

The Red Camelia has been run as a handicap stakes since 1975. It was originally a six-furlong (or three-quarters of a mile) distance. In 1984 it was converted to a distance of one mile on the turf (grass inner course). In all the years it has been run in dirt or turf the highest weight ever assigned by the handicapper to a starter before this year was 122 lbs. Three-time winner of the race, Hope List, carried 121 pounds to her third victory as her highest impost in 1997. Three-time winner Sarah Lane's Oates carried 122 pounds in 1999 and 2000. Last year, Destiny Calls carried 122 pounds to her win as she lowered the stakes record time by four-fifths of a second to 1:37.05 on a turf course rated as firm. This year's impost of 123 pounds was no surprise and actually is a compliment in terms of where she stacks up against the horses that have run in the race over the years.

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Mardi Gras 2005

Morning rays of light bent softly around the plantation shutters of the darkened bedroom. From the hallway soft steps and the rustle of sequins on satin moved toward the bed. The sweet scent of "Eternity" signaled a feminine presence near before a dripping southern drawl mouthed the words, "good morning." My pleasure of returning the greeting was tempered by the dull ache of my shoulder and right arm from stiffness brought on by the delivery of more than 50 gross of Mardi Gras beads to the massive throngs in attendance of this year's Endymion Mardi Gras celebration. A quick glance at the clock on the nightstand showed it was 7:30 Sunday morning and the Endymion Parade and Extravaganza of 2005 were now history.

Less than 24 hours before several hundred riders and family were sitting at the pre-parade Catholic mass listening to the Captain of the Krewe remind the members of the don'ts of riding on a float. He properly admonishing the riders of potential revocation of their membership in the organization for certain mortal sins committed on the parade route. As his lecture wound down he asked those in attendance to remember the members who had passed away in recent years and give thought to their joy in support of the organization. It would have been impossible not to think about Mervin Muniz and Ray Beard. Mervin convinced me 15 years before to ride and take Ray's spot next to him. Mervin was the dean of racing secretaries of thoroughbred race tracks in the United States and a friend from childhood. Ray was a longtime employee of the racing office and a friend as well. Mervin's cousin Ed started the Endymion organization in the Gentilly neighborhood near the Fair Grounds. Many of the original members were race-trackers. In fact the parade in its early years lined up in the neighborhood and started its route down Gentilly Boulevard in front of the Fair Grounds. Employees, racing fans and horsemen would line the street to jump for beads and doubloon throws from the revelers on the floats. The route has moved away from the track but the roots of the organization are undeniable, right down to the name Endymion. Ed was inspired by an equine Endymion's win in the 1963 New Orleans Handicap to consider the name for his parade.

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From One Generation to the Next

It's a New Year and time for new things. We have continued to settle firmly into our new world as real estate developers and Thoroughbred racing consultants. Marie saw the Gabriel Development as her project for the next 20 to 30 years. The timetable seems to be a little accelerated from Vickie and my point of view. Lot sales in the 219-lot Gabriel Properties Development are at about 122 as of the end of the 2004. Gabriel had a great year but we feel this coming year will be a big one. We anticipate having at least four "spec" homes for a fixed site in this year's spring "parade of homes." There are about a dozen homes currently under construction now creating a surge of momentum for lot sales this year.

The New Year has brought the next generation of our four-legged equine family to the race track to make their mark. Blueyesnlonglegs produced only two foals but hey were both extraordinary. Coach Rags finished his stellar racing career in 2004. His half-sister (same mom, different sire), Blueyed Gal, won only one race before she was retired. However, she had several positive attributes, giving us high hopes for her as a broodmare. She has impressive physical attractiveness, she is by Unbridled (a major influence on the breed as a stallion), she showed flashes of brilliant talent and she was produced from a good family. For her first mating we selected Coach Rags' sire, Sky Classic, to attempt to recreate the "nick" of Coach Rags pedigree. Her first foal is a 3-year-old of 2005 named Blueyed Lass.

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