04/10/2007 11:00PM

Peace and Joy stakes claim as track's top sprinter


It took the 8-year-old Peace and Joy many years to develop into a win machine, but only 1:10.40 to stake his claim as the best sprinter at Fairmount Park last Saturday night. Peace and Joy wore down odds-on favorite Mr. Mink to score by 1 3/4 lengths in a $11,413 money allowance at six furlongs. Mr. Mink, who worked faster than the five-furlong track record prior to Saturday's race, had an uncontested lead of over three lengths at one point, but had little left to repel Peace and Joy in the final furlong.

More than half of Peace and Joy's 23 victories have come since the beginning of 2006, and Saturday's win was his 12th win in his last 20 starts. It was also Peace and Joy's fourth victory in six starts at Fairmount. Peace and Joy, who earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, is trained by Ralph Martinez and was ridden by Camilo Pitty.

* Martinez and Pitty each won five races on Tuesday's eight-race card, including four together.

* The Martinez-trained Cowboy Contender seeks his third win in as many starts this season in Friday's featured optional claimer at six furlongs. Cowboy Contender just defeated a similar group in the slop by more than two lengths while earning a 77 Beyer. Matthew's Blessing set the early pace in Cowboy Contender's last race and is back for Friday's race.