04/23/2016 10:12PM

Hoosier: Freaky Feet Pete returns and prevails in 1:49 4/5

Linscott Photography
Freaky Feet Pete made his first start since November tonight at Hoosier Park, and it was a winning one

Freaky Feet Pete, the 2015 Breeders Crown Champion for 3-year-old pacing colts, was a dominant winner in his 2016 debut on Saturday, April 23 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the featured event on the card, a $21,000 invitational pace. Driven by regular pilot Trace Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete finished two lengths in front of his next closest competitor, stopping the timer in 1:49 4/5.

The Larry Rheinheimer trainee wasted no time as he came away from the gate firing to reach the front in an uncontested opening panel of 27 seconds. Nitro and John DeLong benefited from a pocket trip while Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. were next in line in third.

Freaky Feet Pete leisurely strolled down the backside to reach the second panel in 55 2/5 while the rest of the field remained in a single-file line approaching the final turn. After a three-quarter clocking a 1:23, Freaky Feet Pete once again showed the flashes of speed that has made the pacer so popular.

Under no urging from Tetrick, Freaky Feet Pete found another gear and utilized a 26 4/5 closing quarter to pace away from the field. Nitro maintained his position to finish second while Bluehourpower rounded out the trifecta. As the overwhelming favorite, Freaky Feet Pete returned $2.10 to his backers at the betting window.

“We are glad to have that one out of the way,” Rheinheimer noted in the winner’s circle, with a smile. “There’s a lot of pressure, especially with his first start, but he qualified well.  He seems to be as good as ever and that’s all we can ask for.

“I told Trace (Tetrick) good luck and be safe; that’s it.  That’s all I ever tell him.  I felt good about things tonight; he (Freaky Feet Pete) felt really good warming up. He was a little aggressive, but he was ready to get back to work.”

With the win, Freaky Feet Pete notched the first win of his 4-year-old campaign and his 25th career victory from 28 lifetime outings. The homebred son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori has now earned $1,126,224 lifetime for his owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer. Rheinheimer’s star pupil will look to make another start at his home track before being pointed to Northfield Park for his first major stakes engagement of the season, the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park on May 21.

“As far as the rest of the season, we will see how it goes,” Rheinheimer continued. “He will be in all the stakes races around here, and we will take him to a few other places, Toronto and the Meadowlands, if all goes well. We are going to take it week-by-week with him.”

--press release (Hoosier)--