08/05/2017 4:50PM

Meadowlands: Check Six delivers at 38-1 in Sam McKee Memorial

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Nikki Sherman
Check Six was charging hard in the stretch of today's Sam McKee Memorial

On paper Check Six may have been an outsider, but driver Yannick Gingras has the hot hand on Hambletonian Day, and he guided the 38-1 shot to a dramatic victory in the $224,400 Sam McKee Memorial at the Meadowlands.

It was Mel Mara and driver Corey Callahan taking little chances in this mile and one-eighth event. The 7-5 choice blasted out quickly and took control from All Bets Off prior to the opening quarter in a reasonable 26 2/5.

Mel Mara had no challengers in the early stages, and Callahan kept the tempo lively with fractions of 54 1/5 and 1:21 1/5. Mach It So, the Haughton Memorial winner a few weeks back, came up without cover to put pressure on the favorite on the final turn, and Gingras had Check Six right on his back.

In mid-stretch it still looked as if Mel Mara would prevail, as the favorite clicked the mile in 1:48 1/5 and tried to draw off.  Check Six and Gingras had tipped wide in mid-stretch, though, and the 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere ate up ground in a hurry and quickly overtook the pace-setter to actually draw clear by two lengths on the wire in a final clocking of 2:02 1/5. Mel Mara finished second, with Mach It So holding third and Boston Red Rocks finishing fourth.

Check Six returned $79 for a $2 win wager for winning trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, William Switala and James Martin.

"He's had a lot of trouble trips this year. We drew the second tier in the Haughton and he didn't have a chance," said Gingras after the race.

It was only the second win as a 4-year-old for Check Six, a millionaire in 2016 when he won 11 races.