Day At The Track

Homicide Hunter increases win streak to 10

05:13 PM 15 Aug 2015 NZST
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Homicide Hunter Remains Undefeated in 2015 at Hoosier Park. Freaky Feet Pete
Homicide Hunter Remains Undefeated in 2015 at Hoosier Park.
Linscott Photography
Freaky Feet Pete establishes a new track record at Hoosier Park for three-year-old pacing colts.
Linscott Photography

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 15, 2015 - Not to be outdone by their female counterparts in their respective $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on the evening of the $300,000 Dan Patch Stakes, 3-year-old harness racing geldings Homicide Hunter and Freaky Feet Pete demonstrated their superiority over overmatched rivals as the 1-5 and 1-9 wagering selections. Homicide Hunter, from the first crop of Mr Cantab and out of the Like A Prayer mare Evening Prayer, was content to allow 53-1 shot Jumpinthejailhouse to set the early pace and was trotting comfortably in fifth position throughout the first quarter mile which was clocked in :27.2. As the leader advanced to the half, however, in :56.1, the Curt Grummel conditioned gelding was given the green light by driver John DeLong to commence his advance.

Responding with ease, Homicide Hunter cleared the field and headed to the top of the stretch with a length and a half advantage. After hitting the three quarter mark in 1:25.1, DeLong shook the reins at the gelding and the race for second was on. As the trotted to the wire, Homicide Hunter distanced himself from his pursuers and stopped the clock in 1:53.4, five lengths ahead of second place finisher Bluebird Reverend with Rockin Stein holding on gamely for third. The gelding, who is owned by Dr. Patrick Graham, now shares the track record for 3-year-old colts and geldings with Rose Run Parker, and when bettors cashed their tickets he provided $2.40. With the triumph Homicide Hunter increases his win streak to 10 for 10 in 2015. His career resume is 20-13-2-3 and he has amassed more than $300,000 in earnings.

"Last year we had some problems with him trotting to the wire," DeLong said. "This year there is absolutely no problem with anything he does. Not only is his record perfect, he is perfect. There is not one thing you can say about him that is not praise. He is a very nice horse to drive because his manners are the best you could ask for. It's really a very special thing to be able to drive him and to see how he has matured from last year to this year."

Once Homicide Hunter devastated his opponents with pinpoint accuracy, it was Freaky Feet Pete's turn to take aim on his next Indiana championship. The crowd at the Anderson facility was pressed up against the fence anxiously awaiting his performance and the energy was electric as regular pilot Trace Tetrick moved him toward the gate. Larry Rheinheimer's pupil left well, settled in third and allowed Vague Traces set a torrid pace of :25.4 in the first panel. At the same time the tote board lit up with a stiff time of :53.3 for the half, Tetrick simply moved his hands and in a flash the gelding had cleared Vague Traces.

By the time Freaky Feet Pete hit the lane, he had placed three and a half lengths between him and his colleagues and paced three quarters in 1:21.0. From there on in it was simply the Freaky Feet Pete show. As he moved down the lane effortlessly, widening his advantage with every stride, the apron erupted with a loud round of applause for Indiana's champion. Freaky Feet Pete crossed the finish line in 1:48.2 and second place finisher Skim The Top was seven lengths in arrears, with Swing City just behind. The patrons in attendance this evening were awed by the performance because Tetrick never even popped the plugs and had a strong hold on him midway through the stretch.

This horse, owned and raised by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, could have went much, much faster if ever was ever asked. The evenings are few and far between when a track record, which is what this time was is established with such sheer, breathtaking ease. Freaky Feet Pete paid $2.10 to his loyal backers and with this triumph improved his record to 8-7-1 for 2015 with just under $190,000 in purse money. For his career, the gelding has a record of 17-15-1-0, with his only loss coming at the hooves of Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial victor Wiggle It Jiggleit. He has now collected nearly $450,000 during his two years of competition.

Larry Rheinheimer confirmed to Peter Lurie of HRTV the gelding would be a Breeders Crown participant.

"Driving him is something unreal," said Trace Tetrick with a huge smile on his face. "He just does everything so easy and he comes from a great family as his dam is a 100 percent producer. He paces so well that it seems like he's going in 1:58 when he's going in 1:50 and it's like he has no idea he's going that fast himself. You never even have to ask him. I knew at the top of the stretch I would never even have to pop his plugs out, so I wrapped him and just sat there on the way home. He is a very, very special horse and having the opportunity to sit behind him is an indescribable feeling."

Kimberly French

 

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