We are coming up on Cal Cup weekend, and it seems a fitting time to honor the memory of our retiree Valiant Pete, who won the inaugural Cal Cup Sprint in 1990. Pete won eight starts out of twenty-five races; placed in the Gr.3 Palos Verdes Handicap; and retired with earnings of $327,325. But Pete will be best remembered for a race that does not even show up in his past performances. In 1991 Valiant Pete took on Griswold, the worlds fastest Quarterhorse, in a tremendous match race at Santa Anita Park. Thanks to the wonders of Youtube, here is a link to that awesome race. The world record that Pete set that day for four and one-half furlongs stood until April of 2007. Valiant Pete was a red rocket.
Valiant Pete at Tranquility Farm in 2007, at age 21.
Valiant Pete was bred and raced in California by the Valenti family, and was originally retired at his home ranch, Mira Loma Thoroughbreds. When that farm was sold in 2005 Pete was sent to Tranquility Farm for his second retirement home. He was one of the kindest old horses imaginable and was always a favorite with visitors, especially kids, whom he loved. You are sadly missed, old Champ, and I hope you will be remembered on Cal Cup Day.