Trainer Peter Walder Notches 1000th Win at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Peter Walder collected his 1000th career victory Friday at Gulfstream Park when Big Daddy Dave captured the Race 7 feature, a mile optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up on the main track.
Walder, watching from New York, hardly had to sweat out No. 1000, as Big Daddy Dave romped to an 11 ½-length victory under Miguel Vasquez as the 1-2 favorite.
“It feels awesome. We were 0-for-6 weeks when we were stuck on 997. Everyone knows I’m as streaky as all heck. We went 0-for-6 weeks and then we win three in a row,” Walder said. “I didn’t think it was a big deal, then as it got closer, I started getting nervous. Like [Gulfstream announcer] Pete Aiello said, it’s hard to win one let alone 1000. Now we’ll have to work on 2000.”
Walder, a Montreal native, attended Niagara University on a baseball scholarship but went on to work as a groom for Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield at Woodbine upon sustaining an injury that derailed his pitching career. After obtaining his training license, Walder notched his first victory with his fifth starter, Irish Gal, at Woodbine on Nov. 30, 1994.
The 54-year-old trainer, who has campaigned in the Mid-Atlantic and South Florida for many years, is currently splitting his time between South Florida, New York and the Mid-Atlantic.
“It was really nice to do it at Gulfstream. Gulfstream’s my home track. It’s forever in my heart,” Walder said. “I’ve supported that place as long as I’ve been training. I’m glad I got it there. It means a lot to me.”
Walder has distinguished himself as an astute claiming trainer, who has achieved considerable success in improving the performances of horses acquired via the claiming route. Perhaps more impressive than his career win total is the 22-percent winning percentage he has compiled from his 4468 starters.
Note: Nader Moubarak notched his first career training victory with Harrington ($9.20) in Friday’s Race 2 at Gulfstream. Harrington was the 12th starter for Moubarak, the son of trainer Mohamed Moubarak.