Born: 07/24/57, Conway, Arkansas
Resides: Little Rock, Arkansas
Family: Wife, Sandra
Arkansas native, trainer Dan Peitz has been visiting Oaklawn Park since the 70s. He currently trains 3-year-old colt Najjaar, who is owned by the ruling family of Dubai, and 4-year-old filly Arienza, who struggled in her return this season, but is looking to bounce back later in 2012.
Arienza, the daughter of 2002 Horse of the Year and three time Apple Blossom winner, Azeri, follows a long line of horses purchased by owners Robert and Lawana Low of Springfield, Missouri and entrusted to Peitz. Together since the mid-90s, they are closely associated with Steppenwolfer, who hit the board in the Southwest Stakes, Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby before finishing third behind Barbaro in 2006 Kentucky Derby. Other top contenders include Real Cozzy, Green Fee and the Grade 1 winner, Capote Belle, winner of Oaklawn’s 1998 American Beauty and Spring Fever Stakes.
Peitz attended the University of Arkansas for three semesters before deciding that a career on the racetrack was what he wanted. Through a friend, he was introduced to trainer Paul Adwell, who gave him his initial racing education. He later worked for trainer Joe Canty when he trained Cox’s Ridge and champion Temperence Hill. After retiring in the late 80s, Canty helped Peitz start his own stable.