By Dick Jerardi
When Kasey K Racing won a two-way shake for the right to pay $12,500 to claim Brother Chub on March 7, 2017 at Parx, they were hoping for a horse that could maybe win a few Jersey-Bred races at Monmouth Park and a few claiming races at Parx.
What they got was a horse that had a small fracture in his pelvis and needed three months off.
What Kasey K’s Bob and Sue Krangel and partner Mike Day along with trainer Michael Moore ultimately got was one of the hardest-trying horses in Parx history and 53 weeks after just losing the Claiming Crown Express at Gulfstream Park in 2018, a Claiming Crown Express winner on Dec. 7, 2019.
“Last year, he was in front right after the wire,” Moore said. “This year, we win by a nose and hold off the other horse right at the wire. It was nice to go all the way back down there and win it.”
In 2018, Brother Chub lost by a neck to John Servis trainee Appealing Future so it was a Claiming Crown Parx exacta.
All Brother Chub has done since the claim is win 12 races to go along with 11 seconds from 28 starts and earn $430,000.
“The horse is incredible,” Moore said. “He tries every time.”
Brother Chub has that old-school late-running style. And he cuts it close. Only one of his wins for the connections have been by more than a length.
Eight have been by a head and the biggest one was by that nose.
Krangel had actually put in a claim for Brother Chub two races prior to the one where they got him. They got outshook that day for $10,000.
After they did win that shake for $12,500, they had the obvious reaction.
“Well, we’re screwed here,” Moore remembered thinking. “This horse is not going to be any good.”
They gave Brother Chub time to heal and the horse came back running hard. The soon to be 8-year-old has not stopped running hard for more than two years.
Brother Chub was eligible for those starter allowances for horses that had run for a $12,500 claiming price or less from 2017 to 2019. And that has been pure gold. The horse has long since outrun any claiming labels.
Krangel has had a few nice horses and big days in the game. He purchased Afleet Again for $75,000 in September 2011 and, two months later, the horse won the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon with trainer Butch Reid. Kasey K claimed Hello Lover for $7,500 in 2012. The horse won nine races and more than $300,00 after the claim.
“This Brother Chub is off the charts,” Krangel said.
Indeed, he is.
“A lot of times, I say I wish they were all like him because that would make it easy, but, on the other hand, if they were all like him, you wouldn’t appreciate horses like that because most are not like him,” Moore said.
Brother Chub will time out from running in those starter races next year so Moore sees some Jersey-Bred stakes in his future. The horse will always be eligible for the Claiming Crown Express as that is for horses that have started for an $8,000 claiming price lifetime.
“We’ve been doing this for 15 years and we’re so in love with him personality wise and everything,” Krangel said. “He’s just so special. I can’t get over him.”
Sue comes to the barn from their New Jersey home several times a week and spends an hour or so hanging with Brother Chub and some of their other horses, most trained by Moore and some by Kate DeMasi.
Brother Chub has given the owners and trainer so many wonderful moments in a game where the moments are everything.
“That’s what horse racing is and that’s why people love it and that’s why it gives you such a high,” Moore said. “I always say this game has so much frustration and setbacks; if winning a race didn’t feel so good, nobody would do it.”