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Late but important news: Peace Corps dead

June 13, 2013
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Peace Corps 3,1:52.4 ($4,137,737), the five-time (1988-1992) divisional trotting champion, died in Mallorca, Spain, in November 2012 at the age of 26, it was learned today from her owner, John Bootsman.
 
"You take care of them and give them dignity, but at the end, that was not possible and you have to take care of them,” said Bootsman. "She had a good life on Mallorca (an island off the coast of Spain).”

Peace Corps, who raced from 1988 to 1994, was the top money-winning female Standardbred in the world until overtaken by Moni Maker. Early in her career, she was trained by Tom Haughton and started in the 1989 Hambletonian, which was won in a dead heat by Park Avenue Joe and Probe. Peace Corps was third to that duo.

The race was expected to be a much anticipated showdown between Peace Corps and Valley Victory, both dominant in their gender divisions that year. The Meadowlands, anticipating the event, had 5,000 buttons printed for fans that said, "I Like the Colt – Valley Victory,” in blue and "I like the Filly – Peace Corps” in pink.

Peace Corps' buttons were distributed; Valley Victory's were not. Valley Victory became ill before the final, did not race again and went on to become an important sire. Peace Corps registered six foals in the US for owner Hans Enggren; three raced, but did not vaguely approach their mother's accomplishments.

Her first foal, a filly by Mack Lobell named Meadowbranch Macki, was born at Castleton Farm in Kentucky. The filly's birth was marked by press coverage that included the front page of the state's largest newspaper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, as well as major European outlets. It prompted an inquiry from the founder of the Peace Corps, the late Sargeant Shriver, as to the etiology of the name. No other foal of any breed had parents with earnings to surpass Meadowbranch Macki's at a combined $8,055,331.

Peace Corps also won the Breeders Crown four times -- in 1988, 1989 and as a mare in 1990 and 1992, the later years for Swedish horseman Stig H. Johansson.--By Ellen Harvey/Harness Racing Communications

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