Krantz Stable Updates

Labor Day Starts the Year

The summer has been hot and slow for our stable but this is the time of year when we start serious training preparation for fall racing. Most of the horses have been galloping since the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This is sort of an equine boot camp. Horses gallop (a slow run) between one and two miles six days a week. After 60-90 days of training like this, some speed work is phased in (depending on the fitness level of the horse). This change in routine is called a "work." Works don't have to be timed but the closer to race fitness, the more important time becomes. At first, works are little more than a faster or "open gallop." These just give the horse a message of what is expected. Most horses catch on pretty quick and are anxious to show their stuff within a work or two. Some horses can be pretty slow learners and some just tell you it's not for them. The main caution is not to let a horse work too fast and risk an injury from overexertion before their fitness level can accept the stress. Works usually come at five to six day intervals and then the horse is monitored for the following days to make sure appetite and hydration remain at high levels. Loss of appetite or depletion of fluids indicates a horse has overdone its training regime (or is sick). Works progress in distance, and time becomes a focal issue. Even if a horse works fast against the watch, a work in company may tell if there is heart and desire necessary for a quality race prospect.

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Destin Reflection

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.

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Why This is Better Than A Real Job

Working at the race track has always been different than real life. No matter what part of racing a person becomes involved in, it is a bit like running away to join the circus. All of us have been able to gain worlds of knowledge about life, people and places along the trail of our work history. One of the great aspects of Fair Grounds being a family business is to share the experience with the family. This started early in life for me with my mother at the "old" Jefferson Downs and continues today with Vickie and our children here at the "new" Fair Grounds.

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Good Days, Bad Days & Going Half-Mad Days

I guess we have been around this business long enough to know it never quite goes according to the script. First off, You'llbeinmyheart is fine. She's just a little wore out. With only one race since March to keep her level of racing fitness going she looked to be a dead "short horse" on Sunday. She was asked for run from the gate. Kirk LeBlanc rode her with extreme confidence and she came up empty in the last sixteenth of a mile of the race -- pretty much like the race in Louisville, but against much weaker competition.

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Hold Your Breath!

Horses have as many personality types as people. Physically they come in all different shapes and sizes. Even if they are blessed with the physical ability to run fast and the confirmation to stand the demands of training they may not have what it takes when it comes to desire to win or have the mental toughness to compete at a high level.

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Let’s Get Going Again!

You'llbeinmyheart has been nominated to the Fantasia Stakes at Louisiana Downs to be run on Sunday, July 7. It is a $40,000 purse for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies at a distance of six furlongs (3/4 of a mile). Entries will be taken Friday, July 5. This would be a race similar to the Battler Star Handicap she won at the Fair Grounds in March.

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School’s Out But Summer Camp Begins!

Well it's been a while since we have had much to talk about. Some of the St. Catherine following of You'llbeinmyheart requested an end of school update so here's the scoop. You'llbeinmyheart returned to Folsom on the Sunday after the Kentucky Derby (5/5/02). She took a three-week vacation turned out at a farm in a paddock of very green grass. She took to the relaxed life away from the race track very quickly. She would graze out in the paddock during the day hours and she was returned to a stall for the evening. She was not at Clear Creek Stud but at a small farm near by along with Coach Rags (another pretty special member of our horse family). This farm could give a little more individual attention to special horses like these two.

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All Good Things Must Come To An End

Well things didn't have the fairy tale ending we had hoped for. The recap of events goes something like this... After an alert break You'llbeinmyheart was very eager for the lead in the first part of the race and took some time to settle. She seemed to be cruising along with the pace. When Robby Albarado asked her, she picked up the pace turning for home and she went to the lead. The other horses came to her and she could not sustain her drive and flattened out. Rather than punish her for her hard effort Robbie just allowed her to coast home. It appeared she had stopped rather badly. Nothing is wrong; she was just tired and gave way. So with no excuses to offer other than the winners were better on this day we will regroup and plot a course of action.

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The Switch Is On!

After her work Tuesday, You'llbeinmyheart was scheduled to walk Wednesday morning. At arrival to the barn she had eaten all of her dinner from the night and was bright eyed looking over the webbing for some action. Gary and her groom Rene (her groom on loan form Neil Howard) took her out for a bath. She has dapples (skin colorings showing a sign of robust health) covering her dark bay flanks on both sides. She has put on muscle mass and looks to be a finely toned athlete. She was mischievously chewing the lead shank as she got her bath in the before dawn glow of outside lights from between the barns. With each pass of the soapy sponge and then the water scoop she became a bit more animated. It was apparent the work from Tuesday had the desired effect. She was going to be a handful to walk this morning. Someone was going to have a devil of a time making left turns with her at least until she settled down. As Gary made the first round around the barn with her several of Neil's employees had gathered against the wall to visit just before work started. The enclave didn't get a long session as You'llbeinmyheart reared and bucked all four feet off the ground landing where the little circle of people had been a split second before. This is an undeniable sign the switch is on and she is ready. She eventually settled down after Gary was in a full sweat. After she was put away she dove into her breakfast and vacuumed the tub clean.

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Time To Go To Work

Here we go! You'llbeinmyheart worked 3/8ths of a mile on the main track at Churchill Downs yesterday morning. The clockers caught her in :35 3-5, turning in the 5th-fastest work recorded at the distance. After the work, jockey Robby Albarado reported all was well. She cooled out well and ate breakfast. Things seem to be coming back the right way.

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