02/22/2003 12:00AM

Marie Krantz dead at 67

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NEW ORLEANS - Marie Krantz, chairman of the board of Fair Grounds, died early Saturday after a long illness. Krantz, the mother of Fair Grounds president and general manager Bryan Krantz, was 67.

The Krantzs bought controlling interest of the Fair Grounds from majority owner Louie Roussel in the spring of 1990, but long before then Marie Krantz took the family into the racetrack business at the defunct Jefferson Downs in Kenner, La. Mrs. Krantz began working at Jefferson Downs in admissions and administration in 1958, rising to the position of assistant general manager, and eventually general manager. In 1986, Mrs. Krantz and her son purchased the track from John G. Masoni, for whom Mrs. Krantz had served as an administrative assistant.

Mrs. Krantz, who will be inducted into the Fair Grounds hall of fame on March 8, also was an owner and breeder. Her Victoria Lass won the Pan Zareta Stakes here in 1967.

A visitation will be held Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home in New Orleans.