Gregory Pecs, successful Virginia Standardbred sire, passes away at age 21

Woodstock, VA – Gregory Pecs, one of the most successful sires in Virginia’s 26-year history of pari-mutuel harness racing, passed away earlier this month at the age of 21. A son of champion trotter Muscles Yankee, Gregory Pecs produced three Virginia Breeder’s champions and a total of 17 top-three finishers in the annual 2- and 3-year-old title matches, which have been held at Colonial Downs, Oak Ridge Racecourse and Shenandoah Downs.

Ironically, Muscles Yankee made a big impact in Virginia, winning the Breeder’s Crown Colt Trot Championship as a 3-year-old in 1998, the same year harness racing debuted at Colonial Downs.

Owned by Gideon Brenneman — who purchased the stallion with his brother Leroy in 2010 — Gregory Pecs bred 55 mares and produced 16 starters from 35 registered foals while standing nine years in Virginia. When combining his four years in North Carolina and two in Indiana, he bred a total of 97 mares and produced 29 starters from 58 registered foals. Brennaman kept Gregory Pecs at his farm in Union Grove, North Carolina then shipped him to Paul Schlabach’s farm in Tazewell, Virginia where he resided for the breeding season.

Virginia Breeder’s champs by Gregory Pecs include the Renfrow Hauser-trained Speedy Taxi who won the $43,000 Colt/Gelding Trot for 2-Year-Olds in 2016 in Woodstock. Speedy Taxi followed up with wins at Shenandoah Downs in 2018 and 2019, then captured a Breeders’ Aged event in 2020.

Sweet Reason was best in the $43,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot in 2019 for trainer Scott Warnick. Ironically, the top four finishers from that race were all by Gregory Pecs — runner-up Zsa Zsa Dabor, third place finisher J Go and fourth place finisher Audree Helpburn. Zsa Zsa Dabor also finished second as a 2-year-old then in aged company as both a four and five-year-old.

The third champ was Renfrow Hauser’s Lizzybeth Taylor who prevailed in the 2016 2-Year-Old Filly Trot which carried a $48,475 purse.

From a purse earnings standpoint, Zsa Zsa Dabor bankrolled $92,574 followed by Speedy Taxi’s $79,430, the top two among offspring by Brenneman’s trotting stallion.

Knowing Gegory Pecs’ days were numbered, Brenneman acquired another trotter named Crime Fighter who stood in the Commonwealth last year and is one of 20 that will stand this coming year. Details on the lucrative Virginia Breeder’s, Sired Stakes and Certified Residency Programs are available at

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