On a recent weekday morning, Megan Allan (Kraus) is busy getting her two young daughters, Melila and Zoey, ready for the bus to school and at the same time is excited to answer questions about the prospects of two horses she bred, both nominated to the 162nd Queen’s Plate.
Allan and her mother, Lesley, have bred just a handful of horses since 2009 and the two born on her farm in Coldwater, Ontario, in 2018, DERZKII and BREATHLESSNTHESAND, are both on the list of Plate hopefuls released by Woodbine this week.
One of the first horses Allan bred was $250,000 earner Rebel With a Chance, a mare by Rebellion, who has returned to her farm to become a broodmare.
Canadian Thoroughbred interrupted 37-year-old Allan on a busy morning to find out about her Megan Kraus Thoroughbreds:
CT: You bred Derzkii, owned by Fieldstone Farms, trained by Carlos Grant, and this son of Frac Daddy won his last two races of 2020 and looks like a Queen’s Plate prospect. How does that feel?
MA: He was very exciting to watch last year! I have done PlusVital genetic testing on our last few foals, so I knew he would improve as he stretched out. And the way he galloped out after his final race of the year really got me excited for what this year may hold in store for him!
CT: Tell us about when Derzkii and Breathlessnthesand (Ami’s Holiday) were born.
MA: I do all of the work with my horses, including foaling out my own mares. We also give them barn names after Disney/cartoon characters. When Derzkii was born, he was easily the biggest foal I had seen, so we called him Bruce after the great white shark in Finding Nemo. It worked out very well because he was really just a kind and gentle soul. I have a photo of my oldest in the stall with him a few days after he was born where she is petting his nose. It’s one of my favourites.
When Breathlessnthesand was born, we called him Chum after one of the other sharks. He used to terrorize Bruce. It was a really great moment in their first race to see them run down the stretch together and end up 3rd and 4th.
We named Derzkii’s full brother Anchor after the third shark.
CT: Do you have horses in your background?
MA: Yes. My mom Lesley bred a few horses, but they never ran. I caught the bug pretty easily. When I was in my teens, a family friend got me in with the McClelland family (Keith and Rachel) for the yearling sale. That really hooked me! I ended up working a few summers (while I was at university) with Windfields doing yearling prep and sales. I have worked in the yearling and stallion barn at Norse Ridge. I worked a winter at Castle Peak Farm. And I worked for John McInerney and Michelle Woodley for a few years when I was starting to do a bit of breeding.
CT: You bought Lady Sarah, the dam of Derzkii, for $2,660 (US) at the 2015 CTHS Mixed Sale in foal to Souper Speedy. She is by Whywhywhy. Is she still in your broodmare band?
MA: Yes, I am breeding two mares this year, Lady Sarah and Rebel With a Chance. Lady Sarah has ‘Anchor’ the two-year-old full brother to Derzkii (now named Tipa Frost).
CT: Do you sell your horses as yearlings or weanlings?
MA: I usually sell as weanlings and Derzkii and Breathlessnthesand did not meet their reserves at the mixed sale in 2018. I sold both privately afterwards, though it took longer to sell Derzkii.
CT: Derzkii was offered for sale again by Der and Sons Racing, Carlos Grant, agent as a yearling and did not meet his $19,000 reserve and now he races for Analisa Delmas and Carlos Grant. Breathlessnthesand was fourth to eventual Grade 1 winner Gretzky the Great in his career debut. Both horses showed promise as two-year-olds didn’t they?
MA: This is very exciting for me. My whole family has their fingers crossed for a great year.