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LITTLE BIT BRANDY - Cash Caravan Stakes - 08-20-15 - R02 - CBY - 003

by Jim Wells

Sometimes you have to wait seemingly forever to get what you want, so we human beings have fashioned axioms to help provide the wherewithal to await such things.

Who hasn’t heard that good things come to those who wait, or I prayed for patience and God made me stand in a long line and wait and wait…. Many of us were raised hearing out elders talk about someone who had the patience of Job.

Patience, we are told in a variety of ways, is a virtue, something to treasure if one has it, to pray for and acquire if one does not.

It is sometime necessary in the horse business to fortify oneself with an axiom or two. Then, if we’ve awaited something long enough, it often seems incredible when we finally get it. Take Thursday night. Lowell Schrupp couldn’t quite believe what he got, a victory in the $30,000-added Cash Caravan Stakes, a 440-yard test that drew a field of nine.

Schrupp, from Howard Lake, was still dealing with a big case of the butterflies and wiping the emotional tears from his face when he was approached afterward. “You don’t really believe something like this,” he said after his horse Little Bit Brandy, at 16-1, finished ½ length in front of Cokato Cartel and a full length in front of Justa Bump.

Even the winning rider, Jorge Torres (the leading quarter horse jockey, by the way) seemed a little surprised if not perplexed by such a win. “I always try hard,” he said.

Schrupp was mostly concerned about Irish Brew (at 2-1) and last year’s winner of the race, Dirt Road Queen (at 8/5). “Those are two tough horses,” he explained. Irish Brew got a piece of the action, finishing fourth, but Dirt Road Queen, last year’s champion quarter horse, settled for sixth.

Schrupp has been racing in Shakopee since the track’s early years if not from the very start, and Thursday’s win was one of the biggest if not the biggest of a long career. “I can’t remember if I had any horses here in 1986 or not,” he said. He did recall that he raced his small stable at Queen City Downs in 1985 before quarter horses joined the scene in Shakopee the next year.

“A lot of horses can run 300 yards, others can run 400 but it takes a hell of effort to win at 440,” said trainer Bob Johnson, who has Schrupp’s only other horse on the grounds, a three-year-old named LS Little Effort, who, it so happens, is a full brother to Little Bit Brandy. “A nice horse but not as fast as Brandy,” said the trainer.

Schrupp is not only the owner of the winner but he bred and raised him also.  His biggest win came late in a long if limited racing career, but he’s done just fine in another aspect of the horse business. Schrupp is known for the barrel racers he raises, and that frequently command a tidy sum from anyone looking for a good mount for that sport.

Winning Thursday’s stake race, restricted to Minnesota-breds, has some history attached to it. Cash Caravan was a star during the early days of horse racing in Shakopee, winning 14 races with seven seconds and eight thirds in 37 career starts. He had 13 starts at Canterbury and won seven of them, earning more than $80,000 in his career and is enshrined in the track’s Hall of Fame.

He was owned in partnership by Curt Sampson, the future owner of the racetrack, and bred by Bob Morehouse, a Canterbury Park Hall of Fame breeder.

Consequently, winning this race has a certain amount of sentiment attached to it in addition to the winner’s share of $16,850. Enough sentiment even to cause a fellow to tear up upon winning it.

“Nope, you just don’t expect something like this,” Schrupp added. It couldn’t have come at a better time for him.

He’s been saying all year that this is his final season of racing.