Arlington Park Barn Notes (4/15/10)
Contact: David Zenner
In today's notes:
DAN PEITZ BRINGS 30 HEAD TO ARLINGTON FOR 2010
A new face to Arlington for 2010 is that of trainer Dan Peitz, who has brought 30 horses to campaign here this summer. Though it is Peitz’s first time here as a trainer, he has been here before though admittedly it has been many years.
“My first two years on the race track I worked for Paul Adwell and I spent the summers of 1977 and 1978 here,” Peitz said Friday morning outside of his office in Barn 20. “It’s been a few years, but I’m finally back.
“When all the horses get here I’ll have 30 horses for primarily two clients – Robert and Lawana Low and Shadwell Stable. They’re excited about me coming here. Kiaran McLaughlin has most of (Shadwell’s) horses in New York and with me being in New York too, with a limited number of stalls, it was hurting me getting more horses from them. Now that I’m here, at a different track, I think they’re going to split their babies more evenly and give me a few more older horses as well. They’re great people to train for.”
A native of Conway, Ark., Peitz grew up attending the races at Oaklawn Park with his father each spring.
“My dad was a racing fan and I was a racing fan,” said Peitz, 52. “I went to Oaklawn in the early 70s. I graduated high school in ’75 and I went for a year and a half to the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. I would make all my classes in the morning in the spring so I could go to the races in the afternoon.”
After three semesters of college, Peitz decided to pursue a career at the racetrack.
“The second spring I decided to go to Oaklawn Park to get a job,” he said. “I didn’t know the front end from the back end of a horse but I had a friend who was friendly with Paul Adwell. I went to work for Paul and he was great to me. I’ll forever be indebted to him for getting me started. He showed me the ropes.”
However, Peitz knew if he was to eventually make it on his own, he’d have to school under other trainers as well and he left Adwell to work for Joe Cantey.
“Joe was a great guy to work for,” he said. “He had a lot of nice horses. I was there at the end of Cox’s Ridge’s career and there for Temperence Hill (winning the 1980 Belmont Stakes). He was very enthusiastic and dedicated. He was a barn trainer – there all the time kind like I am. He retired at a fairly early age and helped me get started in ’86 or ’87. He encouraged his clients to give me a shot.
“I had some Shadwell horses for about a year and I had a good relationship with them,” he continued. “They always tried to get horses to me. Then they started having more horses over here (in the U.S.) and they gave me a few horses to take to Oaklawn. They’d send me three or four babies every year. I think this year I will have a lot more horses for them.”
However, a change of scenery was not the only reason that prompted Peitz to shift his summer base from New York to Chicago.
“I had been squeezed back on the number of stalls I’d been getting in New York and it was nice that Chris (Polzin, racing secretary) was able to give me the stalls I need,” Peitz said. “Shadwell wanted me to get more stalls (than I had been getting in New York) so they could send me more horses, so that worked out well.
“Plus, my wife is a farm girl from Iowa,” he continued. “Her dad passed away about a year ago. She was there almost a year before he died and she stayed there almost all of last summer after he passed. Her mom is there and she wants to spend quality time with her. I get to see my family every winter at Oaklawn. I needed to be somewhere where they have a turf course, so Prairie Meadows was not an option, even though that’s closer to where her family is, but she understands that.”
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