11/04/2009 12:00AM

Peltier, horseman, dies at 87

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Walter Peltier, a longtime horsemen at Turf Paradise, died Oct. 29. He was 87.

Peltier began training horses in 1937 and was involved in various aspects of the industry throughout his life, including horse transportation and blacksmithing.

During his training career, Peltier handled Call Call, a one-time track record-holder at old Longacres for 1 1/16 miles. He also trained Melmitch, winner of the 1968 Phoenix Gold Cup. Melmitch won 37 times in his career and held numerous track records under Peltier's guidance.

Peltier also trained Spinney, winner of the 1961 Hasta La Vista Handicap, Turf Paradise's traditional closing-day event.

Peltier's daughter, Violet Smith, serves as the Arizona Department of Racing's chief steward.