11/15/2010 2:21PM

Tajaaweed a contender for Peitz


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dan Peitz still has his Arkansas accent despite spending the better part of the last 30 years in New York, first as an assistant under Joe Cantey before opening a public stable in 1987. Mostly for family reasons, Peitz decided last winter to return to his roots, and now his annual circuit consists of Oaklawn Park in the winter, Arlington Park in the summer, and Keeneland and Churchill Downs in the spring and fall.

“My parents live in Hot Springs, and they’re not getting any younger,” said Peitz, 53. “It was the best decision for me.”

Peitz will leave Kentucky for Oaklawn shortly after the Churchill meet ends Nov. 28, but before doing so, he’d like to go out with a win or two. A solid chance awaits Wednesday when Peitz sends out a top contender, Tajaaweed, for Shadwell Stable in the featured ninth of 10 races, a $56,400, third-level allowance at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.

Tajaaweed, a 5-year-old horse by Dynaformer, ran third in the Arlington Handicap and sixth in the Arlington Million before a disappointing Polytrack effort at Keeneland. He then was fourth after making the lead under Robby Albarado in midstretch of his last start, the Oct. 21 Sycamore, a Keeneland turf marathon.

“The Polytrack deal was a failed experiment,” said Peitz, whose main clients are Shadwell and Robert and Lawana Low. “But he ran real well back on the grass. I asked Robby if he thought the horse just couldn’t go that far, and he said not at all, that he was just a little too keen. Hopefully he’ll be a little more settled this time.”

Albarado will be back aboard when Tajaaweed breaks from post 2 in a field of eight. Southern Anthem, second at 54-1 in the Sycamore, and Yate’s Black Cat, fifth in the same race, look like the other major threats.

Other highlights of the Wednesday card include a starter-allowance turf route that drew a full field of fillies and mares (race 4) and a $40,000 main-track route for older horses that also drew a full field (race 8).

The carryover into the $2 pick six (races 5-10) is $14,811, while the carryover into the $1 super high five (race 10) is $9,026. First post is 12:40 p.m. Eastern.