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Tetrick And Check Me Out "Click"

Published: June 12, 2012 2:48 pm ET

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The luck of the draw was unkind to Check Me Out the last time she competed at Mohawk Racetrack, so this time nothing was left to chance.

Check Me Out lost only two races in 16 starts last year. The first came in her elimination race for the lucrative Peaceful Way Stakes, when she was defeated by a half-length by Win Missy B. For the subsequent final, the connections of Win Missy B were able to select their starting spot. Check Me Out, on the other hand, drew the disadvantageous far outside, Post 10.

Win Missy B repeated her winning effort in the final, beating Check Me Out in a Canadian record 1:53.3.

Last Friday night, Check Me Out and driver Tim Tetrick returned to Mohawk for the eliminations for the $530,000 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. This time, she won her elim, guaranteeing a favourable starting position for Saturday’s final. Her connections picked Post 3.

“It definitely helps,” Tetrick said about winning the elim. “You’ve got to use your head wisely and get as much as you can without hurting her because you’ve still got a long year. But (Saturday) we go for a lot of money, so you want to try to win.

“Last year we didn’t win and we got hampered with the 10 hole and it cost us winning that race. The luck of the draw means a lot.”

Check Me Out won her Elegantimage elimination by two and half lengths over Personal Style in 1:54.3 as the 1-9 favourite. Tetrick moved her from fourth place at the half-mile point, reached the lead by three-quarters and maintained an unthreatened advantage from there.

“She raced well,” Tetrick said. “The wind was really strong down the lane, but she trotted right away from them and held her lead good. She’s come back really well. We got a good spot for the race next week and hopefully we can get a good piece of the money.”

Check Me Out has won 16 of 19 career races and never finished worse than second. She races for trainer Ray Schnittker and Charles Iannazzo, who share ownership of the filly. She won the Dan Patch Award as the top two-year-old trotting filly in the U.S. in 2011, as voted upon by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, as well as the O’Brien Award as Canada’s best in the division.

This year, Check Me Out opened the season with a second-place finish to Maven (who won the first of the two Elegantimage elims) in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows in a stakes record 1:53.4. Check Me Out bounced back to capture a sire stakes division at Harrah’s Philadelphia by 11 lengths in 1:53.4 prior to heading to Canada for the Elegantimage.

“She was awesome at (Philadelphia),” Tetrick said. “She’s a little bit lighter up front shoe-wise. She’s a little calmer, which is always good; that makes my job easier. Right now it seems like all systems are go.”

Last year, Check Me Out’s wins included the Breeders Crown, Merrie Annabelle and the Matron Stakes. She also equalled the fastest mile ever trotted by a two-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, 1:53.2, in winning her Matron elimination.

“She didn’t grow a lot over the winter, but she’s still got her same big gait,” Tetrick said. “That’s the most important thing. She’s one of the ones you dream about getting to drive. She’s a very top filly and has got high speed. She’s got a great will and really tries hard to beat horses. She’s got that mentality that she’s the best on the racetrack.”

Tetrick said he seemed to “click” with Check Me Out, but it wasn’t difficult.

“The main reason is just she’s a good horse,” Tetrick said. “She’s super nice. I know they say that at home she’s a little tough, but for me she’s perfect.

“Good horses are easy to get along with, and she’s a good horse.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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