Check Six Upsets To Win McKee

Published: August 5, 2017 04:36 pm EDT

Check Six picked a great time to break through for his first win against older competition, converting a second over trip into a win in the $224,400 Sam McKee Memorial TVG Free-For-All for older pacing horses.

All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) fronted the field first in the 11-horse added-distance tilt, looped quickly by favoured Mel Mara (Corey Callahan). Mel Mara was on the front end through solid fractions of :26.2 and :54.1 before facing a foe named Mach It So (David Miller), flushed off the wood by Check Six (Yannick Gingras). Mach It So pressured the pacesetter through the 1:21.1 third station and persisted through the 1:48.1 mile but could not get past. Check Six was right-lined off that cover into the stretch and in the words of announcer McKee came charging hard™ down the stretch to collar Mel Mara and win by more than two lengths in a time of 2:02.1 for the 1-1/8 mile event, winning at 38-1.

Mel Mara stayed for second, followed by Mach It So and Boston Red Rocks (Jason Bartlett).

“I thought I had a chance to get a good piece,” Gingras said. “I thought this horse has a lot of bad luck. The last time he raced here he had post 11 and he never saw daylight. I was running over top of horses in the stretch. He’s had a lot of troubled trips, but I thought he was sitting on a big one and he was.”

A winner of 11 races and more than $1 million at age three, Check Six (Somebeachsomewhere - Southwind Vanna) is now 2-for-12 as a four-year-old. The winner's share of the purse lifted his seasonal bankroll to $212,535 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin of Pennsylvania and New York.

Stay tuned with all the happenings on Hambletonian Day with updates posted in the 2017 Hambletonian Day News Centre.

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