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Breeders Crown Gets 'Freaky'

Published: October 15, 2015 1:04 pm ET

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"We would have still supplemented him to the Breeders Crown even if he had not beaten Wiggle It Jiggleit."

There is only one reason Freaky Feet Pete he has stayed home in the Hoosier State for the first two years of his career. It is certainly not because the Rheinheimers have an aversion to travel, abhor signing the checks for stakes payments or panic over the depth of competition. There is simply just no place like home.

"I go out for my cup of coffee on Wednesdays,” said Larry Rheinheimer, the colt's conditioner. "The first thing everyone asks is how ‘Pete' did that weekend. Not only does everyone ask about him, they come to the track to see him and cheer him on. He's a hometown hero.”

He may not be Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, but the three-year-old son of Rockin Image and the Pilgrims Punch mare Skyway Lori has captured the hearts and attention of the entire population of Anderson, Ind., by how swiftly and smartly he has paced over the Hoosier Park surface.

During his two years of racing, Freaky Feet Pete has amassed a record of 23-20-2-0, with a bankroll of $616,849 and a lifetime mark of 1:48.2. The sophomore pacing colt is owned by Rheinheimer's wife Mary Jo and son Marty Rheinheimer and regularly reined by Trace Tetrick.

His next engagement via a supplemental payment of $62,500 will be on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack when he and Tetrick face six rivals in his $32,465 elimination for the $531,250 Breeders Crown final for three-year-old male pacers. After handing Wiggle It Jiggleit, the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug winner, the third loss of his sterling career, 'Pete' was made the slight morning line choice at 9-5 ahead of Reverend Hanover (2-1) and Yankee Bounty (9-2).

The only time 'Pete' has finished off the board was in the third race of his career when there was a veritable scrum at the finish line between four horses and his nose just ended up fourth on the wire. Even then 'Pete' still paced his last quarter in :27.2 after being right up on the pace the entire mile and leading out of the gate. This year only Wiggle It Jiggleit and Wakizashi Hanover have denied him his customary position in the winners' circle.

"He showed us he belonged with those type of horses and there is no shame in being second to a horse like that or Wakizashi Hanover," Rheinheimer said. "They have shown all year long how good they are.”

Despite the fact Freaky Feet Pete has not competed over any other track and his legions of adoring fans will not be braving the bracing air at Woodbine to witness his mile, the transition to a new location should not impact how he paces.

"He is a very relaxed, laid-back horse, especially for a colt,” Rheinheimer said. "Nothing bothers him at all. Not a thing. In fact, there have been some nights in the paddock where I thought he was no good, or sick because he did not even act like he wanted to race. But the minute he steps on the track the switch goes on and his ears prick forward.”

Although 'Pete' is a champion and one of the elite members of harness racing's glamour division, he does not normally partake in special treats or snacks, like many of his colleagues do.

"My wife (Mary Jo) only recently started giving him carrots,” Rheinheimer said. "I told her it was her job to keep him happy, so she started feeding them to him. Believe it or not, he would never take them before but he sure seems to like them now.”

To view the entries for the Breeders Crown eliminations, and for past performances for the Breeders Crown entrants courtesy TrackIT, click one of the following links:

Friday (Two-Year-Old eliminations):

Saturday: (Three-Year-Old & Open eliminations):

(with files from Breeders Crown)

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