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Peach Martini Goes For Gold

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Published: August 24, 2010 12:20 am ET

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Although he has been involved with standardbreds for a number of years, Stephen Waldman is a novice when it comes to purchasing and racing young horses, so the Toronto, ON resident is thoroughly enjoying the early season success of two-year-old trotting filly Peach Martini who competes in her third $130,000 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening.

“This is the first time I’ve had a yearling and so it’s been a great ride, and hopefully it continues,” says Waldman. “My partners and I are just thrilled.”

Waldman shares ownership of the three-time Gold Elimination winner with trainer-driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON, Michael Katz of Thornhill, ON and Rojan Stables of Wilmington, DE. The partnership was formed after Zeron picked Peach Martini out of the Harrisburg Yearling Sale last fall for $25,000 US.

“I was sitting in Rick’s office one day and he said, ‘Want a piece of a yearling?’” recalls Waldman, who had been involved exclusively with claimers prior to acquiring a share of Peach Martini. “He kind of talked me into it, so I phoned Mike (Katz) and he said, ‘Let’s try it.’”

Although Peach Martini was not the easiest pupil through her early days in Zeron’s barn, once things started to come together for the daughter of Striking Sahbra-Armbro Martini, the veteran horseman did not hesitate to let his partners know they had a potential star on their hands.

“Rick is very confident in her. He kept saying, ‘She’s so good. She’s like a four-year-old, she does everything you want her to and she doesn’t make mistakes, she’s out there and she knows what to do,’” notes Waldman. “He had said to me, ‘This is going to be the best filly you’ve ever had.’”

Through her first five starts Peach Martini has done her best to prove Zeron right. In her July 16 debut at Flamboro Downs, the filly cruised to a one length Gold Elimination victory in 2:02.1 and in the first $130,000 Gold Final, one week later, she did all the work on the front end, only to be caught in the stretch by pocket sitter Extraordinaire.

Peach Martini captured her second Gold Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 2, sailing along on the front end to a five length victory in1:59.4. In the Aug. 9 Gold Final she suffered interference at the quarter-mile marker, and then wound up in a fierce front end battle with defending champ Extraordinaire that kept her off the rail for the better part of the mile. Although they were just two lengths behind Extraordinaire at the wire, Zeron and Peach Martini had to settle for fifth.

Back at Mohawk last week for their third Gold Elimination start, Zeron was able to work out the perfect pocket sitting trip for Peach Martini, who slipped up the inside of pacesetter My Whispering Eye in the stretch to score a two length victory in an impressive 1:57.3.

“That 1:57.3, it was something we hadn’t seen from her yet,” says Waldman. “Rick kept saying she was really good, but they are still two-year-olds, they are still babies.”

Waldman adds that the partners are taking a conservative approach to Peach Martini’s freshman campaign in hopes that she will continue to race successfully in the years ahead.

“Mike (Katz) and I, we’re very cautious people, and we realize this is just the beginning,” he says. “We love horses, love the animals, and we don’t want to beat her up this year. It’s like an investment, and you want to take care of your investment.”

Katz, Waldman and their respective spouses have not missed any of Peach Martini’s races, and can frequently be found in Zeron’s barn visiting with her and their other trotter V Squared. Waldman says the filly’s upcoming races are the main source of dinner table conversation and they are enjoying every minute of her current success.

“It has its ups and downs, but that’s part of the horse racing business, and you look for those enjoyable times,” says the philosophical owner. “We’re thrilled to be going through it.

“Anyone who is reading this who doesn’t own horses or who hasn’t bought yearlings, I suggest that they should really look into it, because if you get one that’s good, it’s really exciting.”

Peach Martini will attempt to give her owners another thrilling moment from Post 8 in Thursday’s fifth race. The other elimination winners will take aim on a Gold Final title from Post 1 (Beach Party AS), Post 4 (Enchantment), and Post 6 (Eagle Canada). Two-time Gold Final winner Extraordinaire will be looking to defend her title from Post 2.

Mohawk Racetrack’s first race goes to post at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and the two-year-old trotting fillies will wage their $130,000 Gold Final battle in Race 5.


To view Thursday’s entries, click here.

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