Krantz Stable Updates

What’s A Schooling Race?

Things are progressing pretty well for opening day. Well, unless you need a dining reservation or box seat to sit in and haven't made a reservation yet. More than 1,000 horses now populate the barn area of the track with the remainder of the capacity of 2,000 stalls to be filled between this week and the week after Thanksgiving. The level of activity at the track is building to the frenetic pace of opening. This Saturday we staged our first series of training races and Miz Myrtis was the first participant from our barn.

Miz MyrtisTraining races, or schooling races, have been around in our area for many years. Horses who have never run in a race are required to participate. Initially, Jefferson Downs began the practice because there were so many young horses racing for the first time during the Jefferson Downs summer race meeting. The same year Fair Grounds began requiring training/schooling races for first time starters. The training or schooling race is used to give the young horse that has never seen a real race experience a chance to understand what is expected of them. This was designed to help eliminate the many late scratches of first-time starters from paddock accidents, refusing in the post parade or injury in the starting gate. The structure was designed to mimic the running of a real race but also to provide a workout in company for the betting public. So not only did the horse learn how to act, but the bettors got a legitimate line on the horse's ability. In a morning workout a horse is set down and asked for speed but usually not an all out effort. This holds true of a training/schooling race as well. The results of these races may not give the whole picture for a horse's ability but the results can give you a pretty good indication to see where a horse stacks up when it is time to pick out a maiden condition to enter a real race.

Miz Myrtis ran in the fourth of the four training races on Saturday and showed us she was a professional and a competitor. Here is a look at the results from the race:

Race 4      
Warsaw Girl 1:01 1-5 hg Sharp inside move turn, clearly best
Sid's Halo 1:01 3-5 hg Good speed, 2nd best
J.S. Online 1:02 3-5 hg Finished willingly
Miz Myrtis 1:03 1-5 hg Mild bid
Adieu and Farewell 1:03 1-5 hg Stride late
Runinforacheck 1:04 hg Took up turn
Gigahertz 1:04 4-5 hg Weakened late
Ash N Chris 1:05 4-5 hg Off slowly

She broke well, settled, was asked for some run in the stretch and finished with positive energy.  The most positive indicator is she was mentally involved and wanting to compete.  The winner seems to be a filly of high quality and perhaps a future stakes performer in open company.  The second horse looks to be an open maiden allowance performer.  Miz Myrtis’ finishing time places her well within the competitive scope of the Louisiana-bred competition at Fair Grounds.

Miss New Orleans and Destiny Calls will need to compete in a training race in weeks to come.  The next training races will be held next Saturday in conjunction with an open house promotion for the opening of the racing season.  After Saturday the training races will be run on Wednesdays during the race meeting.

Training races before the meet draw a small crowed of onlookers and give us a chance to test sound and television production for the live meet.  They are also a sure sign Thanksgiving Day and the opening of the 131st race meeting at Fair Grounds is just up ahead.