John H. Peace, who raced homebred graded stakes winners West by West and Top Secret, died Oct. 22 at a hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. He was 81.
An Army World War II veteran and retired chairman of the William Esty Advertising Agency in New York City, Peace won such stakes as the Nassau County (gr. I), Jamaica (gr. II), and Widener (gr. III) Handicaps with West by West. His filly Top Secret captured four graded stakes, including the Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II).
"He was a wonderful man, a real gentleman," said George R. "Rusty" Arnold, who trained for Peace for 17 years. "I can't remember a cross word or a bad moment between us.
"He was really passionate about the sport, and the only time I remember him missing a race, in town (New York) or out of town, was for a family obligation."
Peace, who served as a trustee of The Blood-Horse Inc. from 1991 through 2001, bred six stakes winners and raced 14 added-money winners.
Peace was the founding benefactor of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. He is survived by his wife Agnes; sons John Jr., William, and James; daughters Kathleen, Ellen, and Mary Anne; and 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be held at Saint Teresa of Avila Church, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y. Donations may be made to the Belmont Childcare Association, 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, N.Y. 11003.