Krantz Stable Updates
- Published: August 8, 2002
- Written by Bryan Krantz
I guess going to the beach has different effects on different people. Since my early teens I have found a reason to spend at least a week each summer on the beach in Destin, Florida. This region is called the Emerald Coast and lives up to the name in fine fashion. The stark contrast of white sand beaches with curling emerald green and indigo surf act as a cleanser for the wounds of a soul in need of healing. Somehow that rhythmic cadence of surf pounding in your ears can let your mind retrace the events of the past year and let you reconcile the bits of life that haven't quite fallen into place.
In earlier years the beach was a place to sleep off the events of the night before and start over with the "hair of the dog." Later, after marriage and kids, it became the place to watch life develop and flourish. Those first pictures of our children's wide-eyed delight at the feeling of sand under the pad of tender feet or the giggles stimulated by the cool touch of a creeping wave on the shore. In later years the sunsets painted on the sky faded into evenings of crab hunting with flashlights on beaches where search parties of flashlights circulated freely.
Through all the years there was always time for the reflection on the events of the past. In the more recent times more time has been spent on thoughts about old friends departed. These departed friends are the icons of Louisiana racing. These are the people who taught me about the sport and a code of how to live life and do business with honor. They all had grit and in their lives achieved great success. John Masoni, the mentor of our family business. Bought Magnolia Park out of bankruptcy and fought the good fight as a track owner with Jefferson Downs and Fair Grounds. Jack DeFee, Louisiana and national HBPA (Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association) president for many years. DeFee was first and foremost a sportsman. He owned the baseball Pelicans, put up the money for the first pro football exhibition game played in New Orleans and funded the first LTBA (Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association) office at Fair Grounds when the organization was formed. Jack Lohman, owner of Clear Creek Stud. He was the man with innovative ideas who worked tirelessly to form coalitions to improve racing in Louisiana. An old friend now in my reflections is Frank "Buddy" Abadie. Buddy was a man who lived by his wits. He was a depression kid who got wise to racing and developed speed figures to bet on races long before Andrew Beyer (the speed figure guru whose numbers are highlighted in the Daily Racing Form) was born. He traveled the Midwest and East coast betting on horses for a living. Later he settled down back home in New Orleans and became secretary/treasurer of the LTBA, a position he eventually retired from to become a state steward at Fair Grounds. With Buddy's passing this week we will all lose a little of what makes racing in New Orleans something special.
I'm thankful to have had these mentors in my life and I aspire to leave a legacy as profound when my memory is a reflection stirred by the sands of time.