09/10/2008 12:00AM

Valiant Pete euthanized after stroke


Valiant Pete, winner of a $100,000 winner-take-all match race against a Quarter Horse in 1991 and the world-record holder at 4 1/2 furlongs for 16 years, was euthanized Monday morning at Tranquility Farm, a retirement facility in California, according to the president of the farm, Priscilla Clark.

Valiant Pete, 22, suffered a stroke Sunday night, Clark said. Although the gelding continued to eat that night, he lost the ability to move in his back end on Monday morning and was euthanized. Valiant Pete had lived at Tranquility since 2005, when he was moved along with several other horses following the closure of nearby Mira Loma Farm. He spent his days at Tranquility in a pasture year round with two other geldings and five mares. Clark said the pasture was considered the "old folks' home."

Valiant Pete was best known for winning a half-mile match race against the champion Quarter Horse Griswold in 1991 at Santa Anita Park. Griswold was quicker from the gate, but the two horses began racing neck-and-neck about halfway through the race. Valiant Pete inched away in the final strides to win by a neck, tying the world record of 44.40 seconds for a half-mile.

In 1990, Valiant Pete was the first winner of the Cal Cup Sprint, and he also set the world record for 4 1/2 furlongs of 49.20 that year.