06/03/2017 11:12AM

Hoosier: Freaky Feet Pete returns in qualifying action

Grace Hollars Photography
Freaky Feet Pete is on track to make his 2017 stakes debut in the Ben Franklin at Pocono

On an otherwise quiet Saturday morning, the backside at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was buzzing as Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete was in the spotlight to make his qualifying debut, and the world champion didn't disappoint as he won in wire-to-wire fashion.

With his regular driver Trace Tetrick in the bike, Freaky Feet Pete cruised through fractions of 28 3/5, 56 3/5, and 1:25 2/5 before accelerating to the wire with a last quarter clocked in 27 4/5 to win his qualifier by 12 lengths in 1:53 1/5.

“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 1/5, 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 honor of his late trainer.

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

The career winner of almost $1.5 million won six of his 15 races throughout his 4-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.

To watch Freaky Feet Pete’s qualifier at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please click here.

--press release (Hoosier Park)--