Day At The Track

Beckhams Z Tam hits road for Commodore Barry

04:20 AM 25 May 2018 NZST
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Beckhams Z Tam, harness racing
Beckhams Z Tam and driver Ricky Macomber
Linscott Photo

After spending the better part of the past four years at home in Indiana, returning Breeders Crown champion Beckhams Z Tam is ready to step out for what trainer Jamie Macomber hopes is the first of numerous road trips this season.

Beckhams Z Tam will leave Indiana for only the second time in his life when he visits Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday for the $150,000 Commodore Barry Invitational for older male pacers. Beckhams Z Tam's only previous road trip came last year for his elimination of the North America Cup in Ontario, where he finished ninth.

Following that race, Beckhams Z Tam hit the board in 14 consecutive starts, winning seven, including the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers on his home turf at Hoosier Park. Overall in 2017, Beckhams Z Tam won 11 of 20 races, was top three a total of 18 times, and earned $512,545.

This year, the 4-year-old stallion is ready to give the Grand Circuit a try on a regular basis.

"We're going to give it a shot," said Macomber, who trains Beckhams Z Tam for owner Bill Matz's Z Tam Stables. "As long as he seems to be OK with the traveling and racing at the high-competition level, then we'll continue on the stakes season. You always wonder how they're going to handle the travel and the hard races every week, but for some reason, it doesn't concern me with Beckham. I think he will handle it fine.

"He's a relaxed horse, so as long as I don't change his schedule too much -- he likes to eat breakfast and then go back to sleep, take a nap, and then get up to do his work -- I think he will be OK. I don't plan on changing much, except where he sleeps at night."

The Commodore Barry Invitational, named in honor of American Revolution hero Commodore John Barry, a native of Ireland who lived in Philadelphia and was the first commissioned officer of the U.S. Navy, is part of an invitational tripleheader at Philly with the Betsy Ross for older female pacers and Maxie Lee for older trotters.

In addition, the card includes a Great Northeast Open Series event for trotters -- featuring 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover -- and Great Northeast Open Series races for male and female pacers. There also will be two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Action begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT).

Beckhams Z Tam heads to the Commodore Barry off a second-place finish in his seasonal debut in the May 11 Invitational at Hoosier Park. He will start the Commodore Barry from post No. 1 in a field that includes Confederation Cup winner Filibuster Hanover (unbeaten in three races this year) and two horses with more than $2 million in career earnings, Mach It So and McWicked.

"I would have liked a couple more starts, but we're happy with the one start that we did have," said Macomber, who turns over the driving lines to her husband, Ricky. "He didn't get a lot bigger (over the winter). He filled out some, but not a lot. His personality is still awesome. If anything, he is just a little bit more mature."

Macomber hopes that maturity helps Beckhams Z Tam make the transition to racing against older foes in stakes competition. Beckhams Z Tam, a son of Always A Virgin out of Sara's Lucky Charm, has won 11 of 27 lifetime starts and earned $565,494.

"When he's racing he's all business," Macomber said. "He's not been raced a lot, so hopefully he's got plenty of good miles left in him."

Following is the Commodore Barry Invitational field with listed drivers and trainers.

1. Beckhams Z Tam, Ricky Macomber Jr., Jamie Macomber; 2. Western Joe, Scott Zeron, Christopher Choate; 3. Heaven Rocks A, David Miller, Ross Croghan; 4. Filibuster Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Rockeyed Optimist, Brett Miller, Jake Leamon; 6. Rodeo Romeo, Andy McCarthy, Chris Ryder; 7. McWicked, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 8. Mach It So, George Napolitano Jr., Jeff Bamond Jr.

For Sunday's complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

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