Freaky Feet Pete Returns

Published: June 3, 2017 11:54 am EDT

On an otherwise quiet Saturday morning, the backside at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was buzzing on Saturday, June 3 as Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete was in the spotlight to make his qualifying debut. The World Champion won the first qualifier of his 2017 campaign in wire to wire fashion.

With his regular driver Trace Tetrick in the bike, Freaky Feet Pete cruised through fractions of :28.3, :56.3, and 1:25.2 before accelerating to the wire with a last quarter clocked in :27.4 to win his qualifier by twelve lengths in 1:53.1.

“He was great,” Tetrick noted coming off the track. “We got him out of there good, he relaxed on the front and then paced strong to the wire -- that was the plan today. He’ll be back next week and we will go from there. It’s good to have him back.”

Freaky Feet Pete is expected to make another qualifying appearance at Hoosier Park before making his first pari-mutuel start of 2017. Freaky Feet Pete will be aimed at the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Mohegan Sun Pocono for his first stakes engagement of 2017 as explained by trainer Marty Rheinheimer. After winning his elimination in 1:47.1, Freaky Feet Pete finished second behind Always B Miki in the Ben Franklin Final in 2016.

“He’s feeling good and we’re happy about that,” Rheinheimer noted. “We’ll get him back home and make sure he comes out of this okay and go from there. We are going to take it day by day with him and let Pete tell us what he is ready for.”

Larry Rheinheimer, Marty’s father and Pete’s original trainer, passed away in September of 2016 from a heart attack at the age of 72. Since then, the Rheinheimer Stable has been adjusting and will be racing 'Pete' in honour of his late trainer.

“It’s bittersweet,” Mary Jo Rheinheimer noted. “Larry would be so happy to see him back.”

Mary Jo Rheinheimer watching intently as her older pacing star warms up for his qualifier at Hoosier Park.

The career winner of more than $1.6 million won six of his 15 races throughout his four-year-old campaign last year before being sidelined late in the season due to an injury. Owned by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, the son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has won 30 of 42 lifetime outings including wins in the Breeders Crown, Monument Circle Pace and the American National.

(with files from Hoosier)

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