Check Me Out, Beer Summit set Mohawk records
June 16, 2012
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The first stakes race of a star-studded night at Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night was the $530,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters and although it went to the heavily-favored Check Me Out, it wasn't easy for the reigning divisional champion.
Driven by Tim Tetrick, Check Me Out was third as Valdonna reached the quarter in :27.3 and then Win Missy B tripped the half-mile timer in :56.2. Tetrick tipped Check Me Out shortly past the half and moved first-over against the leading Win Missy B. Down the stretch Check Me Out gained an advantage but Yannick Gingras had Maven on the move right behind.
Heading toward the wire it was touch-and-go if Check Me Out would survive the charge but she did--by just a nose over a game Maven. The time of the mile, 1:52.1, established a new stakes and track record. Win Missy B was 2 3/4 lengths behind in third.
"I knew it was really tight,” Tetrick said afterward. "My filly kept fighting all the way to the wire. I give Maven tons of credit, she fought tooth and nail and it was a great horse race all the way down the lane.”
With her 17th win in 20 career starts, Check Me Out surges well past the $1-million mark in career earnings, with her bankroll now topping $1.2 million. The daughter of Donato Hanover is trained by Ray Schnittker and owned by Schnittker and Charles Iannazzo.
There was a blanket finish in the $351,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old male trotters but it was Beer Summit who emerged victorious for driver Ron Pierce in a stakes record 1:52.2. The time also equaed the track record shared by Majestic Son and Lucky Chucky.
Pierce sat fourth with Beer Summit as the longshot Gym Tan Laundry set fractions of :27.1, :56.1 and 1:24. He was able to tip and follow the cover of Il Mago around the final turn and in midstretch gained a slight advantage. The field quickly closed together in deep stretch and under the wire it was a six-horse blanket finish. With 8-1 Beer Summit winning, it was 35-1 Prayer Session a half length back in second for Dave Magee, with the 99-1 shot Gym Tan Laundry holding for third for Jack Moiseyev.
"The trip worked out very well," Pierce said afterward in the winner's circle. "He had plenty of trot left to the wire."
Trained in Canada by Mike Vanderkemp, Beer Summit is owned by Sharlene Vanderkemp, Mirva Bogucki and the J and T Silva Stables, the latter being the entitiy of Jerry and Theresa Silva, who purchased an interest in the son of Cantab Hall in early April. The win was his third in five starts this year. The winner's share more that doubled his previous earnings to more than $325,000.
Pembroke Heat Wave overcame a first-over journey around the final turn with driver Brian Sears to win the $376,000 Armbro Flight for older trotting mares in 1:54. Although 10 lined up behind the gate, early breakers Action-Broadway and Jersey As resulted in both being taken out of the wagering pools and all monies refunded.
Frenchfrysnvinegar, last year's Breeders Crown champion older trotting mare, fired fast off the gate from post nine with driver Jody Jamieson and set fractions of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:26.2. Sears got away third initially with Pembroke Heat Wave but tipped his charge around the last turn to move first-over toward the leader.
Pembroke Heat Wave took the lead in midstretch and then was able to hold off the fast-closing Cedar Dove and driver Pierce. Randy Waples found a seam in deep stretch to move through with favored China Pearls but had to settle for third.
Gregg McNair trains the winning 6-year-old daughter of Like A Prayer for breeder-owner William Varney of Bangor, Maine. The win was her fourth in 14 starts this year and 22nd in 76 career starts. Her earnings now surpass $400,000.
We Will See and driver Pierce held off a late-rallying Betterthancheddar and Scott Zeron to win the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup Invitational Pace in 1:48.2. FInishing third was the Gingras-driven Atochia.
A 5-year-old son of Western Hanover, We Will See is trained by Sam DePinto and owned by Shannon DePinto, Earl Smith and Jerry and Theresa Silva. The win was his first of the year in four starts after an 11-win campaign in 2011. We Will See's earnings now stand at nearly $2.2 million