Like Father Like Son
 By Wanderin Boy Memorial   •   23rd Feb 2011   •   3,791 views   •   20 comments
In 1990, a chestnut colt was born. His sire was the American Triple Crown Affirmed. He bore a striking resemblance to Affirmed. The colt was slender and graceful, and soon he began to deport himself with dignity and professionalism.

This colt was named Peteski, and he began the season a maiden and ended it a champion.

Peteski's pedigree gave him a license to be anything that he wanted to be. After winning his maiden by 10 lengths, Peteski had more in common with his sire than looks and attitude. The trim red racing machine had great early speed gave everyone a glimpse of what was to lie ahead after winning his first race.

New York State Racing Commission Chairman of the Board Earl Mack heard that there was a promising colt in Canada, so he looked at the background of the colt, and he liked what he found, so he bought him. That colt was Peteski.

In his first race, for Earle Mack, Peteski was entered in an allowance race at Woodbine. Racing at a mile and one-sixteenth, Peteski won it by 7 lengths. It was now clear to Earle Mack that he had a prospect for the 1993 Canadian Triple Crown.

"Peteski may be the best horse on the continent...he has an abundance of speed at any distance." -trainer Roger Attfield

"Peteski is, by far, the most talented and versatile horse I have ever owned...” -Earle Mack

The Canadian Triple Crown is different from the American Triple Crown. One major difference is that whereas the American Triple Crown is run entirely on dirt, Canada’s is run on a combination of dirt and turf. The first and second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Queen’s Plate is run on dirt. The last leg of the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes is run on the turf. So to win the Canadian Triple Crown, a horse not only has to be durable, tough, and of the highest class, but also extremely versatile.

Durning the Queen’s Plate, Peteski led every step of the way, and he left 10 horses strung out more than 25 lengths behind him. “They come to the final sixteenth; Peteski is going to wire the field in the Queen's Plate. He goes to the front and makes every pole a winning one. Peteski, a decisive winner of the Queen's Plate”

"This horse just keeps getting better and better..." -Roger Attfield.

Now it was time for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes. Peteski ran a different race. He layed just off of the leaders, and in the stretch he shot to the lead. He opened up to yet another easy victory, recording the fastest 1 3/16 mile ever run at the 96-year-old track. “Peteski, picture perfect in the Prince of Wales Stakes!”

One more race to go in the Canadian Triple Crown. This race was run on turf, and Peteski had never run on the turf before. The doubts to his ability to handle the grass was erased when he turned in a seven-furlong turf workout, that his trainer described as “Unbelievable”

Only three other horses stepped into the gate to face Peteski. Would history be made in less than 2 minutes?

The gates opened, Peteski darted to the front and opened up by 2 lengths. Soon he drew away from the field with no urging by his jockey, and with ears pricked he won by 6 lengths. Peteski tested himself that day. He ran freely on the lead, accelerating even more as the race continued, and he ran his final quarter faster than his first.

"Peteski is living, breathing, quality speed..." -Neil Campbell, The Blood Horse

How good could this horse get?

His record times and huge margins in the Triple Crown left few skeptics, but those who were still not convinced, soon changed.

Peteski was then entered in the Molson Export Million. This race attracted the best group of 3 year olds, which included Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero, Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair, and Haskell winner Kissin Kris. How would Peteski do against this group of horses? Would he win with ease or just get left behind?

Well, when the gates opened, Peteski treated them just like he had dealt with all the others.

Peteski "cleared his stable mate in late turn, was lightly tapped with the whip on the shoulder at the head of the stretch, was hand urged to draw out, finally winning under no urging with ears pricked to complete a spectacular performance."

During the race Peteski's jockey kept looking over his shoulder wondering where everyone was, because there were no challenges.

"When we got to the quarter pole, the race was history-he was gone," said his jockey afterwards. "Peteski thinks he's King Kong, and today he showed that he is!"

Peteski then moved south to Louisiana to race in the Super Derby against 13 other horses. Peteski lost that day by two short noses. Peteski carved a reputation for himself as a gutsy horse. Sandwiched between rival runners and bumped and brushed on both sides in deep stretch, Peteski became angry, refusing to surrender even when down by a half length. He had fought bravely to the finish. It was a narrow nose defeat but not without leaving a profound impression of courage and class.

Sportswriter Gary West wrote: “Peteski was the best horse yesterday. Brushed and bumped by bigger and heavier rivals, Peteski refused to surrender...He persevered after forcing the fastest pace in Super-Derby history and nearly won! Certainly he ran the best race, although in defeat. He worked from start to finish.”

Peteski was going to enter in America’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, but as fate would have it he was forced to scratch after a minor swelling caused by a casting in the stall the night before. Some say that race might have been his greatest glory. In the Breeders’ Cup Classic that year a horse named Arcangues won that day. His win was the biggest upset in Breeders’ Cup history. For a $2 bet the payout was $269.20. That record still stands today.

It was later decided that Peteski would be retired to a breeding farm. In late January 1994, Peteski was retired to stud at Darby Dan Farm. He retired with a record of 7 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third in 11 career starts with earnings of $1,287,864. Peteski also was Canada’s Horse of the Year. In his career he defeated the best of his generation and he displayed extreme heart on many occasions.

On April 3, 2001 Peteski was euthanized at the New Bolton Center after being unable to overcome complications resulting from a severe bout with colic. He was 11. His sire, Affirmed had just died a few months before. Peteski was laid to rest in the burial grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

"They did a first class job there, and he fought gallantly," said owner Earle Mack, "He was a tough champion and a great fighter through his illness."

In 2009 Peteski was inducted into Canada’s Hall of Fame.

“When you seek horses with meteoric careers, Peteski has to be among those at the top of any list. Here was a horse which began the 1993 campaign with earnings of just $714 from his only start as a juvenile. Less than a year later he was Canada’s Horse of the Year following his sweep of the Triple Crown series in devastating fashion, winning the Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales and Breeders Stakes by a combined 16 lengths.”


The only Horse of the Year and Triple Crown Winner by a Horse of the Year and Triple Crown Winner
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Wanderin Boy Memorial
Painted Destiny  
Great article! He is so beautiful and so amazing!
  Feb 23, 2011  •  1,966 views
No Walkin Farms9  
Great article. I learned so much. Peteski was an awesome horse. Do you know how any of his foals have done?
  Feb 23, 2011  •  1,984 views
Awesome! I love it!
  Feb 23, 2011  •  1,978 views
Amazing horse!
  Feb 23, 2011  •  2,174 views
I feel sorry for the horse that came last, as it may have been the last race it ever ran. but boy is Peteski a runnner!
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,996 views
Chris Antley Memorial  MOD 
I ♥ Peteski!

This is a great article!

I love the last video. I laughed so hard when they were talking to Jerry Bailey about Arcangues after he won the BCC. "I didn't even understand the instructions in the paddock," and "I don't even know how to pronounce his name." ROFL
  Feb 24, 2011  •  2,025 views
Awesome article :)
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,983 views
Great article. He is a pretty horse. How did you find out about him?
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,965 views
T W I  
Great article! I had never heard of Peteski, so I found this quite informative.
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,988 views
Soul Horse  
Great article! sounds like he was a great horse.. it's sad that he died too soon at the age of 11 years
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,979 views
MS Horses  
I love your article!
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,988 views
Prarie Rose  
Wow. Awesome article! :)
  Feb 24, 2011  •  1,973 views
Emma Watson  
  Feb 25, 2011  •  1,972 views
Finally There  
Great article! Such a gorgeous horse! :)
  Feb 25, 2011  •  2,011 views
Great article! Sounds like an amazing horse.
  Feb 25, 2011  •  1,972 views
Untamed Heart  
Good artical... He is so elegant....
  Feb 27, 2011  •  1,986 views
When In Rome  
Great Article and amazing horses!
  Mar 16, 2011  •  2,068 views
T E M P E S T  
Great article!
  Mar 18, 2011  •  2,017 views
Fantastic article!
  Mar 18, 2011  •  1,963 views
That's amazing
  Mar 19, 2011  •  1,988 views
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