Krantz Stable Updates

Morning Mist

Each season of the year has its special appeal to the senses. From early childhood I have been particularly fond of the fall. We struggle through the dog days of summer heat in New Orleans where being outside in the heat and humidity can wilt your spirit and leave you soaking wet after just a few moments. Those days of August and September give way to the pleasant early cool fronts of October. This is the weather many would call "football weather" and some call "hunting weather." To some of us, it signals a migration, not of ducks or geese, but of horses. As sure as Halloween and All Saints Day are upon us, the backstretch of Fair Grounds opens the last weekend in October.

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Remembering Seabiscuit

SeabiscuitSeabiscuit has made the transition from best-selling novel to screen sensation.  The story is about people, history and horse racing.

While Seabiscuit never raced at Fair Grounds, it’s easy to wrap the images of his story around the images of history created from the experience here of racing in New Orleans.  While the story Laura Hillenbrand tells in her book is compellingly well told and the movie creates a “Hollywood” version of the tale, neither conveys the story as the words of the dean of sportswriters -- Grantland Rice’s column filed after the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.

Click here to enjoy this reprint of his description of Seabiscuit’s greatness. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat to view the column.

Mid-Summer Update

Things have been really quiet for the stable this summer but very busy for the family. Destiny Calls is back from her summer vacation at Longfield Farm and at Neil Pessin's barn at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. She is galloping each morning and will stay with Neil until we can decide when Gary can resume training at the Folsom Training Center on the northshore. Coach Rags is with Teddy Ardnt at the training center now. The crack on his right front foot is growing out but still requires a patch. He seemed to do well with his turnout and should be ready to resume regular training with Destiny Calls. We have three 2-year-olds for this year. All are unnamed at this point but we will work on proper names shortly. Two of the youngsters were purchased at the October Louisiana Breeders sale in Shreveport last year and have been introduced to their lessons and turned out. They stated galloping this past week at Clear Creek Stud in Folsom and will join the older horses when Gary is ready.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

The season, which started with eager anticipation of promise and potential, has ended with a quiet lack of fulfillment. Most of the stable roster has been dispersed and we are in the transition time of reorganization for the next year. While the year had flashes of success the winner's circle eluded us in all but two attempts this year.

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Fair Grounds and Mardi Gras

On March 3, 1699, Pierre leMoyne, Sieur d'Iberville chose a camp site for his men two leagues from the mouth of the Mississippi River. In honor of the festive holiday being celebrated that day in France, this site at the first large bend in the river was named Pointe du Mardi Gras and the adjoining channel Bayoue du Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras has always played a part in the history of New Orleans. Fair Grounds has been intertwined in the history of the city since its formal coming of age as Fair Grounds in 1872.

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Little Sister Gives A Valentine Present

Things have been a little slow for the stable this year but hope springs eternal in horseracing. Valentine's Day proved to be a charmed day for Destiny Calls. Her training race win came as somewhat of a surprise to us (not that we weren't hoping for good things). Just as You'llbeinmyheart had come to life after a series of pedestrian works, so did Destiny Calls. Jockey Shane Sellers was complimentary after the race, offering an opinion she should have no problem running through her conditions (races restricted to horses who have not won two or three races). She relaxed well on the lead after a good start, Shane let the field of horses come to her at the head of the lane then let out the reins enough for her to begin to draw away. Inside the 1/16th pole as they came to the wire, a late runner started to make up some ground on her, but with one turn of the whip Destiny Calls crossed the wire two lengths in front. It wasn't the gaudy six-length victory of You'llbeinmyheart's first race or the six-length margin of the training race win last week but a professional performance by a filly who has been behind in her training schedule since some setbacks earlier in the summer. The way things have come around for her you have to wonder if she will fit into the Louisiana-bred stakes offerings at the end of the race meeting here.

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One Door Closes and Another One Opens

The letter began.... "We are delighted to accept your mare YOU'LLBENMYHEART for breeding to Sky Classic for this 2003 breeding season... signed Clifford Berry Stallion Manager Pin Oak Stud." And the door closed on a racing career that had begun with such great promise. Six races etched in my mind like they were the first steps of a child. The first four races and wins were as though divine intervention had stamped this filly for greatness. Her next start on Kentucky Oaks Day in Louisville allowed for the mind to imagine what the major players on the stage the next day would feel. Even now when the mental replay of the Edgewood Stakes comes to mind it forces a rendering of what almost might have been and what has come to pass. Nothing has changed. She has the irrefutable quality necessary to prove her own greatness either as a racehorse or as a broodmare. The other door now opens for her to pass on to her offspring the qualities she possesses. Even during her convalescence, people who have never seen her offer compliments of her physical resiliency and her sensibility. The good ones have an understanding of their surroundings and can distinguish themselves by an uncanny ability to reason things out. When this is combined with an undeniable will to win it marks class of the highest order. This class is the essence of You'llbeinmyheart.

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Bad Things and Good Horses

There is an adage in racing that "you can't hurt a bad horse but the good ones always have something wrong." I guess You'llbeinmyheart is a prime example of why folks have said this for years. Just as she was getting close to a race in the later part of November she had a reoccurrence of a sinus infection that had plagued her last year. A blood-tinged goo marked by a strong odor of rot had replaced the clear liquid oozing from the dark round recess of her nostril last year. After many rounds of treatment with antibiotics the problem still persisted. The treating veterinarian drilled a small hole in the sinus to pump in an antibiotic solution and flush the area but still there was no relief.

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Stable Roster Update 1/2/03

Here we are at the new year and things have been moving pretty slow since Thanksgiving Day. There has been a little action; some of our charges look like they are right on schedule, some not so on schedule and some have been deleted from the list. Let's check in...

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Santa Claus Visits the Fair Grounds

New Orleans is a very Catholic city. A city that is passionate for its holidays, especially Christmas. As children we anxiously await the coming of the Christmas holiday in hopes of Santa bringing us a toy or bauble we have dreamed of as a token of the season of giving. As adults we see Christmas as an observation of the remembrance of the birth of Christ and a time to teach our children about the magic of the season. Every once in a while something happens to remind the adults there is still a little Christmas magic left, even for them.

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