Trainer Peter Walder watched the first of his horses arrive Monday at
Gulfstream Park. The popular trainer, known for his claiming prowess, is
also getting noticed these days for the job he did last year with
Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Force Freeze and the former claimer Sweet
N Sour Nina.
Claimed for $50,000 last fall at Keeneland, Sweet N Sour Nina was
stakes-placed in five starts, including Gulfstream’s Ocala Stakes and
Delaware Park’s Obeah (G3), in which she finished third to Horse of the
Year candidate Havre de Grace.
Meanwhile, Force Freeze, who was shipped to Walder by Saeed Nasser Al
Romaithi of the United Arab Emirates over the summer, finished second,
beaten only a neck Nov. 5 by Amazombie in the Sprint at Churchill Downs.
“He came out the race great and right now he’s in Ocala eating grass
and just being a horse,” Walder said. “I’d like to run him once or twice
at Gulfstream before shooting for the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) in
May. Right now he’s just getting a little rest.”
Walder said he’s 90 percent certain the gelding won’t return to Dubai
for the World Cup in March because “he’s a bleeder and he didn’t seem to
like the synthetic surface over there.”
Along with Force Freeze, Walder is expecting another horse to arrive at
Gulfstream from owner Romaithi in the form of Marinous, a Group II
winner in France who finished sixth in the 2010 Arc de Triomphe.