Krantz Stable Updates
The Toughest Issue to Deal With
- Published: November 19, 2002
- Written by Bryan Krantz
Hello...Gary? Hey what's going on this morning? (Gary) Well, we two-minute-clipped (a fast open gallop) Ispeakasiplease and he went really well. Man is he doing good right now. The big filly (Miss New Orleans) went to the gate but she needs to go back again. (Bryan) Well I guess she's a slow learner. (Gary) Voodoo is going to work a half out of the gate in a little while. Do you want me to call you back and let you know how she does? (Bryan) OK. I have to go downtown this morning and I'll be out of pocket all day.
Hello? (Gary) Bryan? The filly dropped dead. (Bryan) Yes... I was pushing the speaker button on the phone and the line went ...what did you say? (Gary) The filly... she broke from the gate, went about a quarter and had a heart attack. She went about 24.00 for the first quarter to the wire. She went behind the hedges and never came out. The next thing Billy was announcing to hold all works. (Bryan) Is the boy alright? (Gary) Yes. He's fine. He said she got to the wire and started to quiver like something was wrong. He started to ease her up and she just dropped. She never drew a breath after she hit the ground. (Bryan) You OK? (Gary) I can't believe this happened. (Bryan) Well this is a first. If you stay in this business long enough you'll see it all. I'm glad no one else was hurt. I'm sorry it happened.
Hello. Randall (Redneck Racing Stable, her other owners). Ummm... I have some bad news for you about Voodoo Princess...
Voodoo Princess Voodoo Princess is gone. In 15 years as horse owners we have had only one other experience with the grim reaper at the racetrack. Kelley's Spirit was a 6-year-old gelding who had endeared himself to us after being purchased as a 2-year-old. He was a character and a competitor and he never took a bad step until his last. His loss came on New Orleans Handicap day this past year, the race after Coach Rags won the Dixie Poker Ace Handicap. Boy, the highs and lows in this business sure come close together. This time is different (I guess they all are).
Voodoo Princess was a homebred. The mating that produced her was planned four years ago. She was the third foal out of Lara Susan. Lara Susan was a filly Marie and Vickie purchased who had placed in a stakes race early as a 2-year-old. She won three races over two years and was retired. Her front running style on the track was not expected for an offspring of Exceller (a long distance campaigner). She is a small mare so there are a number of elements to consider in picking a mate. There is enough pedigree and race record for her to warrant breeding to Kentucky stallions. By the time Voodoo Princess' mating was selected, Lara Susan's first foal, Ispeakasiplease, had broken his maiden and looked like he might have potential as a stakes performer in Louisiana-bred ranks. Claiborne Farm had just purchased Private Terms and moved him to Kentucky and he looked like a good match for Lara Susan and a value at $7,500 stud fee.
Voodoo Princess was born a small but not unattractive foal. Another one just like the others her mare has produced. She had an uneventful weanling and yearling year. She began to display some real feisty attitude in the breaking process. Not bad, but she wasn't going to put up with much. Yvette Moran handles the early breaking process at Clear Creek and she made a point of telling us tales of the "little filly." When she was brought to the track she was placed with Pat Herbert and Pat asked us to consider naming her "devil" because of her attitude. Again, not bad, just evil spirited ... don't get behind her. "No one told her she was small."
The plan was to sale prep her for the Fair Grounds 2-year-olds in training sale, and if she didn't meet the reserve price, send her to Keeneland for the spring 2-year-old races and try to get her sold there if she could win early in the meet. Other than being small she looked great. So good in fact that Austen chastised me for offering her for sale (when your 10 year old talks, you listen!). So when she didn't sell we took in Redneck Racing Stable as partners (a group of three friends). She went to Lexington with Dallas Stewart. Ill-fated would be the proper description of Voodoo Princess and her ownership group. She was entered and scheduled to run. Plans were made, travel was set and the skies opened up for a gully-washing rain. The track at Keeneland is notoriously bad when it is sloppy and we felt scratching was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, the Red Neck Racing guys had chartered a small airplane from Baton Rouge and dodged weather all the way to Lexington to learn we had scratched. Well, it was a nice day at Keeneland and we bet some races and they enjoyed "racing as it was ment to be." Voodoo did run the next week. She broke from the outside and was used early in the race, tiring to finish in the middle of the pack. She traveled to Churchill Downs with Dallas but her coat seemed to dull and she wasn't as interested in her morning gallops, so we brought her home to Louisiana. Back home, Gary had her about a week when she injured herself in the stall. She knocked her right hind leg on something hard enough to cause a deep bone bruise. This required a bone scrape surgery at the vet clinic in Folsom. What a nightmare...or so I thought.
She recovered and came to Fair Grounds for the race meeting this winter and had turned in some watch-stopping works. She didn't seem to have grown an inch from last year but she was tenaciously competitive.
The race trackers came by the barn yesterday and this morning to offer their condolences. Pat and Barry came to work today like every day, in the dark, starting the day long before training time at 6:00 AM. The third stall on the inside of Pat's row is clean, webbings down, but the pocket-sized terror is gone. This is a tough business. The horses are the part that warms your heart and stir your passion. It's OK to hurt about it sometimes because this is the rhythm of life on the racetrack.