07/15/2012 11:22AM

Meadowlands: Check Me Out sets world record in Del Miller Memorial victory

Tom Keyser
Check Me Out sets a world record while winning the $245,500 Del Miller Memorial in a 1:51 3/5 clocking Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

The Hambletonian picture began to take shape Saturday night, when Check Me Out set a world record in capturing the $245,500 Del Miller Memorial in a 1:51 3/5 clocking at the Meadowlands.

With regular driver Tim Tetrick in tow, the daughter of Donato Hanover cruised wire to wire, setting fractions of 27 3/5 seconds, 56 1/5, and 1:24 1/5 while easily distancing herself from runner-up Win Missy B.

Trainer and part owner Ray Schnittker didn’t fully commit to the $1.5 million Hambletonian (Aug. 4) at the Meadowlands in his post-race comments.

“Right now, I would say the Hambletonian,” Schnittker said.

Schnittker’s confidence was apparent.

“She’s a much better horse coming from off the pace,” he said. “I’d like to see what she would do sitting behind a 1:22 three-quarters.”

Perhaps those comments reflected two earlier divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial for male sophomore trotters. Trainer Jimmy Takter’s stable sent out two impressive winners.

Little Brown Fox gained tremendous stature with a runaway 1:51 2/5 mile going wire to wire in the second $153,000 Dancer division. With odds-on favorite Googoo Gaagaa off the gate at the start and breaking into the first turn, driver Yannick Gingras never looked back setting sizzling fractions of 27 3/5, 55 35, and 1:23 3/5 on his way to a lopsided victory. Stablemate Guccio closed stoutly for the place spot, nipping Possess The Will on the wire.

Takter’s best 3-year-old, Uncle Peter, went a slower trip in the first Dancer division as driver Ron Pierce crawled the first half-mile in 57 4/5. From that point, he used a first over attack from Appomattox (Tim Tetrick) to keep second choice Banker Volo (Jim Morrill Jr.) locked in. The strategy worked perfectly, with Uncle Peter scoring in 1:53 1/5.

“I could have gone to the half in 54, and the results would have been the same,” Pierce said when questioned if Banker Volo’s fate would have been different if not locked in.

Trainer Robert Riddle suffered a serious horse-related accident earlier in the week and turned over the training of his standout 3-year-old filly Major Look to his friend, trainer Kevin McDermott.

The Art Major-sired filly was sent off at 10-1 against the heavily favored American Jewel in the $190,850 Mistletoe Shalee on Saturday. Andy Miller picked up the driving assignment and put the filly on the front end through a 26 4/5 opening quarter. Just past that point, American Jewel sprinted past to take control and had the lead through fractions of 54 2/5 and 1:22 1/5.

In prior races, that would be the cue for American Jewel to sprint away from her rivals, but that wasn’t the case on this night. Major Look angled out of the two hole in early stretch and determinedly wore down the leader. The 1:49 3/5 clocking was a personal best. Major Look has been responsible for two of American Jewel’s three career defeats.

Afterward, McDermott was quite emotional about the plight of his friend Riddle.

“He is responsible for this filly,” McDermott said. “He did everything to get her here.

“Andy and I decided we would cut our commission in half and give the 5 percent to Rob.”

It was a bit of a family affair as McDermott’s brother John sent out Hurrikane Kingcole to a blistering 1:47 3/5 mile in capturing the $100,000 Meadowlands Pace consolation. With Gingras (The Meadowlands Pace winning driver) in the bike, the colt waited patiently as I Fought Dalaw and Mel Mara exchanged the lead through fractions of 27 and 53 4/5. With one swift and sweeping move, Hurrikane Kingcole blew by the leaders and pulled away.

“He’s a scary fast horse,” Gingras said after the race.