03/18/2013 10:55AM

Bill Peters, owner of Mariah’s Storm, dies

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Bill Peters, who owned multiple Grade 2 winner and prominent broodmare Mariah’s Storm during her racing career, died Feb. 17 at age 86 after a short illness.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Peters worked in land development and road construction and raced under the name Thunderhead Farms.

Mariah’s Storm was Peters’ most successful horse on the racetrack and in the breeding shed. Purchased by Peters for $85,000 at the 1992 Keeneland September yearling sale, the Rahy mare won six graded stakes races over three seasons of racing for earnings of $724,895, highlighted by wins in the Grade 2 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes in 1993 and the Turfway Park Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 1995.

Mariah’s Storm was pointed toward a start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies following her win in the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes, but her campaign was derailed by a fractured cannon bone in her next start in the Alcibiades Stakes. The story of her recovery and return to graded stakes-level competition became the loose basis for the 2005 feature film Dreamer starring Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell.

After her racing career, Peters bred Mariah’s Storm to Storm Cat and entered her in 1996 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, where she sold to John Magnier of the Coolmore partnership for $2.6 million. The foal she produced was 2000 European Horse of the Year and leading sire Giant’s Causeway. Mariah’s Storm also produced leading New York sire Freud and Group 2 winner You’resothrilling, both also by Storm Cat.

Other notable horses campaigned by Peters include multiple stakes winners Battle Mountain, Lady Gin, Rodeo Fan, and Sand Ridge.