Day At The Track

Champion pacer to make 2016 debut in April

01:50 PM 19 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Freaky Feet Pete
Freaky Feet Pete
Linscott Photography

After having reached harness racing's highest level in 2015 with his champion three-year-old pacer, Freaky Feet Pete, trainer, owner Larry Rheinheimer is anxiously anticipating the 2016 racing season. A winner of over $1.1 million in lifetime earnings and a story book three-year-old campaign, Freaky Feet Pete spent his winter months at the family farm in LaGrange, Indiana in preparation for his four-year-old season.

"He's wintered real well," Rheinheimer noted with a smile. "Of course, I am in Florida right now but my son (and co-owner) Marty is at home with him and he said he's training very good. That's all we can ask. I am anxious to get back and get racing again, that's for sure."

"We really thought he filled out between his two and three year old season but I think he has filled out even more this year and seems to have matured some too," Rheinheimer noted. "He is happy, healthy and still loves his job so we are happy."

Rheinheimer expects Freaky Feet Pete to make his four-year-old debut in mid-April for a qualifier at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. If all goes well, the son of Rockin Image-Skyway Lori will likely make his first pari-mutuel start at his home track before shipping to Northfield Park for his first major stakes race of the year, the $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie on May 21.

"We staked him a little heavier this year," Rheinheimer noted. "Obviously, we staked him to everything close to home, The Dan Patch, The Hoosier Park Pacing Derby but we also included a few of the bigger races at The Meadowlands and in Canada."

Freaky Feet Pete has amassed $1,115,724 from 24 wins and two seconds in 27 trips lifetime. In fact, he's only finished off the board once in his career and that was in his third career start as a freshman, when he finished fourth. Most notably, Freaky Feet Pete captured the coveted $531,250 Breeders Crown final for three-year-old male pacers at Woodbine Racetrack with regular pilot Trace Tetrick in the bike.

Freaky Feet Pete is the eighth foal of the ultra-prolific broodmare, Skyway Lori. While she was a decent racehorse in her own regard, Skyway Lori's biggest accolades came as a broodmare. With nine foals of racing age, she has produced eight winners and responsible for five $100,000+ winners and two $200,000+ winners. Freaky Feet Pete remains her fastest son with his 1:48.2 mark taken in Indiana Sires Stakes action at Hoosier Park last year. The Rheinheimer's are training a two-year-old full brother to Freaky Feet Pete this year named Lori's Rockstar, who is named after his dam as she unexpectedly passed away last year.

"We're excited to get started racing again," Rheinheimer said. "He's been a dream come true and more than we ever hoped for. It sure is fun to be a part of a horse like him."

Emily Gaskin

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