Day At The Track

Beckhams Z Tam local favorite in Pacing Derby

10:54 AM 21 Sep 2018 NZST
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Beckhams Z Tam, harness racing
Beckhams Z Tam has drawn post seven in Friday’s $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.
Dean Gilette photo

ANDERSON, IN -September 20, 2018- For many years, the name Jamie Macomber has been synonymous with some of Indiana's greatest race horses. An incredible stint as an assistant trainer to the sport's all time leading harness racing trainer, Ron Burke, saw Macomber guiding some of Indiana's most accomplished champions, such as the program's first millionaire, Go On BB, as well as reigning horse of the year, Hannelore Hanover, through the early stages of her career.

Macomber has since started her own stable and again finds herself in the position of running a stable loaded with some of Indiana's hardest hitting champions such as Carol's Z Tam, Uncmprmising Z Tam, Wild Wanda and Rockinbeach.

As the Hoosier state prepares for one of its biggest nights of the season on Friday, September 21, Macomber will send out four horses from her stable but it is her Breeders Crown champion, Beckhams Z Tam, who has taken her to new heights. Facing eight other rivals, Beckhams Z Tam has drawn post seven in the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby which has been carded as the eleventh race on the evening's 14-race card.

"He's awesome," Macomber says with a smile, speaking about her star pupil. "He makes you laugh and smile constantly. He wants to play all of the time, sometimes even all of the way to the track, but when I turn him the right way, he is all business."

With lifetime purse earnings of $674,861, the son of Always A Virgin-Saras Lucky Charm has won 13 of 38 lifetime starts. While he has earned over $100,000 this season, the 2017 Breeders Crown Champion's four-year-old campaign has been a bit of a challenge for his trainer and has not gone according to plan.

"It's been a bit disappointing," Macomber said, "We missed the first leg of the Graduate, so we missed the final, we have also struggled getting his (Beckhams Z Tam) blood right all year."

However, Beckhams Z Tam has been trending in the right direction following the addition of lasix earlier this season with a 1:49:0 victory against invite competition on a very muddy Hoosier Park surface on August 3rd and a victory north of the border in the $152,000 Prix D Ete. While the year has been challenging, Macomber remains optimistic.

"We are hopeful it will all work out; hopefully he peaks at the right time," Macomber continued. "He's staked to a number of open events later in the season so we will take it start by start."

Assuming Beckhams Z Tam continues his upward trend, it is possible to see him in many more Grand Circuit events including The Dayton Pacing Derby at Dayton Raceway, The Allerage at The Red Mile as well as a trip to Pocono Downs this October and attempt to repeat in the Breeders Crown.

The idea of winning some of the sport's most prestigious races is a "dream" for Macomber, though her modest nature makes her more excited for Beckhams Z Tam's owners, Wilbur Eash and the Z Tam Stables LLC. In fact, Wilbur Eash is part of what makes Beckhams Z Tam so special for Macomber. Eash, who trained Beckhams Z Tam until retiring from training last spring, may have handed the lines over to Macomber but still remains actively involved in the decision making.

"Wilbur knew he had something special and still entrusted me to take over training him," Macomber noted. "Professionally I could lump all of the great horses I've been a part of together, but emotionally? I hold Beckham different than the rest."

With Friday night's $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby showdown looming large, Macomber remains excited and positive. With her husband Ricky Macomber Jr. in the bike, Beckhams Z Tam has been listed at 20-1 on the morning line.

"As long as he races well, I'm happy," Macomber noted. "It's a privilege to have a horse like him and I am excited to race him again on the big stage in front of the hometown crowd."

The field for the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby:

1. Split The House Dr: Scott Zeron

2. Western Fame Dr: Andrew McCarthy

3. Mcwicked Dr: David Miller

4. Donttellmeagain Dr: Tim Tetrick

5. Filibuster Hanover Dr: Ronnie Wrenn Jr.

6. Lazarus N Dr: Yannick Gingras

7. Beckhams Z Tam Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr.

8. Dealt A Winner Dr: Andy Miller

9. All Bets Off Dr: Matt Kakaley

With purses topping the $1.4 million mark, the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby will be a part of a standout card that includes the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic, the $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $155,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Pace, and the $120,000 Elevation Pace. First post is 6:30 p.m. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

By Jacob Rheinheimer, Race Marketing Intern at Hoosier Park

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