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Highly regarded Hambletonian hopeful Swandre The Giant begins his 3-year-old harness racing campaign Thursday (May 30) in the first round of the Indiana Sire Stakes at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The Ron Burke-trained colt is the No. 6-ranked horse in Meadowlands Racetrack announcer/analyst Ken Warkentin's second Road to the Hambletonian released Tuesday. Last year, Swandre The Giant won nine of 12 races and finished second twice while earning $255,180. The colt won his first seven starts, all in Indiana, for trainer-driver Brandon Bates before being sold to the ownership group of Diamond Creek Racing, J&T Silva Stables, and Howard Taylor. He immediately tested the Grand Circuit, finishing second in his elimination of the William Wellwood Memorial at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park and going off stride a week later in the $308,000 final. He returned to Indiana, where he won twice on the sire stakes circuit before ending the season with a second-place finish behind It's A Herbie in the $220,000 ISS Super Final. Swandre The Giant, who was trained by the now-retired Jimmy Takter for the second half of 2018, prepped for his 2019 debut with two wins in qualifiers at The Meadows. He competes in the first of two ISS divisions Thursday and is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in his group, with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the sulky for trainer Burke. "We're looking forward to it," Diamond Creek Racing's Adam Bowden said. "He's come back well this year and filled out and matured. He had a few little issues last year and those all seem to be resolved. We went over him with a fine-tooth comb and everything looks good. "He's a clean-gaited horse and he's got a good cruising speed. He's the kind of horse that gives you a lot of confidence. He's not a laidback horse, he's intense, but he knows what you're trying to do with him, and I think that's important. I give Brandon a lot of credit, he brought him along slowly and was able to teach him." Swandre The Giant dominated in Indiana during his first seven starts, winning a maiden and six ISS events by a minimum of one length and an average margin of three. All seven of the races were at Hoosier Park, where his career-best time of 1:54.2 was two-fifths of a second off the track record for a 2-year-old male trotter. "He was a homebody to that point, and I think shipping around might not have been best for him," Bowden said, referring to the trip to Canada for the Wellwood. "We might have asked a little too much of him and he wasn't ready for it mentally or physically, but we wanted to see what we had. We might have been better just staying in-state for the rest of the year and letting him develop against the competition there. But hindsight is 20/20." Swandre The Giant is a son of Swan For All, who sired 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover and 2017 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt trotting champion Fiftydallarbill. Diamond Creek was among the owners of Swan For All during his racing career and remains part of the stallion's syndicate. The colt's dam, Adagio, was a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion in 2011. In addition to the Indiana Sire Stakes and August's $1 million Hambletonian, Swandre The Giant is eligible to a number of races including the Tompkins-Geers, Canadian Trotting Classic, Breeders Crown, Carl Erskine Trot, and Matron. "We have options," Bowden said. "He can race in Indiana, or if he proves himself up to it, he can go on to the Grand Circuit. You can make a lot of money racing in Indiana, but I think the ownership group is thinking bigger. We'll see how he does Thursday and Ron can make a decision about what's next. We'll let the horse tell us what he is." Swandre The Giant is one of three Hambletonian-eligible trotters participating in Thursday's Indiana Sire Stakes races. The others are Lite Years Away (20-1 in the first division) and Sign Here N Here (12-1 in the second division). It's A Herbie, who is making his seasonal debut, is the 5-2 second choice in the second division, behind 2-1 favorite Airman Kelly. The purse for the first division, with a nine-horse field, is $48,000; for the second, with a 10-horse field, $48,500. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

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

ANDERSON, IN --September 11, 2018--Measuredperfection was able to measure off her competition to pull the slight upset and capture the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 11. With Ricky Macomber Jr. at the lines, Measuredperfection used a strong stretch rally to prevail in a tight, three horse photo for win in 1:56.2 and with it, snap the seven-race, undefeated streak of Grand Swan and LeWayne Miller. Measuredperfection was sent away from the gate from post five to grab the early lead in :28.1 while Kissesforall and Verlin Yoder quickly grabbed a pocket seat. Unable to find a spot along the rail, Miller pointed the heavy post time favorite, Grand Swan, to the front but she would have to work for position. Measuredperfection eventually relinquished the lead and Grand Swan led the field through middle splits of :57.2 and 1:27.3. The field began to tighten rounding the final turn and Sam Widger had Kota's Swan on the attack applying pressure to the leader first-over. Grand Swan was able to put away Kota's Swan but the biggest threat was still behind her. Utilizing the inside passing lane, Macomber Jr. found late racing room and Measuredperfection found a :28.2 final panel to put a nose in front. Grand Swan was forced to settle for second place honors while Kissesforall utilized a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. As the betting publics' second choice, Measuredperfection returned $10.60 to her backers at the betting windows. "We changed her shoes so she was getting a hold of the track better tonight," Macomber Jr. noted in the winner's circle. "That was an ideal trip for her but she is a very honest filly, she will do anything you ask her to do." Trained by Ron Burke, the daughter of Swan For All-Kalibrated recorded her fourth win from nine seasonal outings. Owned in partnership by Burke Racing Stable, F. Baldachino, J&T Silva, Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi, Measuredperfection pushed her lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark with the win. The victory was also one of four driving wins on the evening's 11-race card for Ricky Macomber Jr. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, September 12 with the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for the three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old pacing fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, IN -September 1, 2018- After being sent off at 6/1, Letme Fly Low and Ricky Macomber Jr. pulled off a slight upset in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 1. This was the second consecutive victory for the pair after winning their elimination just a week prior. When the wings of the starting gate opened, Trace Tetrick sent 2017 sensation Dee Rocks right to the front, hitting the first quarter in 26:3. They were closely followed by Katie Can Cook with LeWayne Miller and Virgin Eyes with Sam Widger, and remained in that fashion until the half in 54:3. Once the horses hit the three-quarter in 1:23, Virgin Eyes pulled up into the second spot. In the final stretch, Virgin Eyes appeared to have the victory, but it quickly turned into a five-horse battle for the win. Once they hit the wire, though, it was Letme Fly Low, coming from the outside from seventh place, who crossed the line first in 1:51:3, a new lifetime mark for the filly. She was followed by It's Time For Fun with Brandon Bates in second and Voom Or Bang with John De Long in third, who both fought valiantly for their spots. With the minor upset, Letme Fly Low returned $14.40 for her backers at the betting windows. "She gave the performance I expected," noted driver Ricky Macomber Jr. after the victory. "The half helped her a lot in this trip, but she's just getting better with every start." The pacer, who is trained by Alvin Miller, has now won six of her 17 starts for 2018. Tonight's victory brought Letme Fly Low's lifetime purse earnings to $129,455 for owners Ted Comerford, Twila Harts, James Lee and Alvin Miller. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, September 4 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30pm, live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Hoosier Park

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (August 22) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Jamie Macomber, trainer of Beckham's Z Tam; Ryan Clements, creator of Off and Pacing and Catch Driver; Jeanine Gesek, from Pacing for the Cure; and Darin Gagne, from Running Aces. Macomber, the trainer of Beckham's Z Tam, joins to talk about her champion colt who just won the Prix D' Ete at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. Macomber will talk about how he has grown since winning the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park last year, and what the plan may be for the remainder of the season. Clements, the creator of Off and Pacing and Catch Driver, will discuss their new game that they recently created. Catch Driver allows players to be the driver of their horse and make the decisions that could help or be a detriment to your chances of winning. Clements will discuss the thought process that went into making the new game. Gesek, from Pacing for the Cure, joins to discuss their event coming up at Harrah's Philadelphia on September 7. The Pacing for the Cure foundation helps those who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. For more information, visit pacingforthecure.org. The Running Aces segment with track announcer Darin Gagne returns this week to talk about the happenings at the Minnesota track. Gagne will highlight some of the big events coming up and recap last week's events. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - It was the first time the horse ever raced on a half mile track, it was the first-time driver Ricky Macomber ever came to Quebec, the same goes for the trainer, his wife Jamie Macomber. None of these new situations hampered 9-1 Beckhams Z Tam, who scored an upset victory in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. The tenth race harness racing feature saw Filibuster Hanover (Louis Philip Roy) go to the early lead with stablemate Eddard Hanover (Stephane Brosseau) sitting in second place. But on the move on the outside from the start was driver Trevor Henry with Blood Line and as they could not find a place to duck in, they went after Filibuster Hanover to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. Ricky Macomber was then able to slip out and came up second-over behind Blood Line with Beckhams Z Tam and Western Joe (Doug McNair) was third-over on the outside as the field sped to the half mile marker in :54.1. Then things got a little crazy in the backstretch as Macomber moved Beckhams Z Tam three-wide and was not only able to clear by Blood Line, but also pass by Filibuster Hanover to take the lead past three-quarters in 1:23.2. As they started down the stretch, 15-1 American Wiggle and driver Guy Gagnon were able to close in on Beckhams Z Tam, but it was too little too late as the winner scored by one and one-half lengths in 1:52.1. Filibuster Hanover was third. "When we found room and got into second-over position going to the half mile," Said driver Ricky Macomber. "I felt pretty confident, I knew we could make that big move in the backstretch." Beckhams Z Tam is a four-year-old stallion by Always A Virgin. This was his second win of the season for trainer Jamie Macomber and the Z Tam Stables of New York, NY. He paid $21.10 to win. "After we got second over position," Macomber explained. "I waited until the backside and then flipped three-deep and continued on going. "My wife had more confidence in racing him on a half mile track than I did." Macomber admitted. "Now after the race I feel pretty good about it." "He (Beckhams Z Tam) made the ship so well from Indiana to Quebec," trainer Jamie Macomber said. "He has eaten all his food, drank more water than I have ever seen him do and that made me feel confident and that he was in good shape. "I did warm him up pretty hard," Macomber added. "I was really mad with myself for doing it, but he responded well. I also need to thank Ron Burke, as he was the one last winter who convinced me to enter Beckhams Z Tam in the Prix D'Ete." In the third race, the colt division of the Breeders Cup Series, Play Jet Ray was the overwhelming 1/9 favorite for driver Guy Gagnon and the son of Shadow Play raced like it. Kinnder Jackson (Justin Filion) shot to the lead from post five, but just as he cleared to the lead, out came Gagnon with Play Jet Ray, taking command at the quarter mile in :28. He then held the field at bay, cutting fractions of :57 and 1:25.4 before cruising home to win by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.3. Kinnder Jackson was second with D Gs Onceuponatime (Jonathan Lachance) third. It was the sixth win this year for Play Jet Ray, who is trained by Dany Fontaine and is owned by Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal and paid just $2.10 to win. In the ninth race filly division of the Breeders Cup Series it was Lit De Rose and catch-driver Trevor Henry going wire-to-wire against their nine rivals. Starting from post two, Henry beat out All You Can Dream (Stephane Brosseau) to the early lead, a costing speed duel in :26.4 to the opening quarter mile. Once settled in, Lit De Rose cut the mile to the half in :57 and the three-quarters in 1:26.3 as Brosseau came back out after the leaders again at the top of the stretch. But Henry was able to find a little speed from Lit De Rose, who held off All You Can Dream to win by a half length in 1:57. Sharks Summrshandy (Louis Philippe Roy) was third. It was a lifetime mark for the daughter of Leader Bayama and her second win this year for trainer Maxime Velaye. She was bred and is owned by Guy Corbeil of Mirabel and paid $5.00 to win. Track Notes: Driver Louis Philippe Roy was in his usual prime form and led all drivers with four winners on the afternoon program. Live racing resumes at H3R Tuesday night with five trotting stakes events. There will be three divisions of the third round of the Future Stars Series for three-year-old's and two divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old's. Post time Tuesday evening is 6:30 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 25, 2018-The Hoosier state's three-year-old pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, May 25 to square off in the opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action and as predicted, the sophomore colts opened their series in impressive fashion. Each colt was aiming to earn a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for June 1 at Hoosier Park. In the opening division, Rockinbeach utilized a ground saving trip to hand Always A Prince his first loss of the season. With Ricky Macomber Jr. in the bike, Rockinbeach used a :26.1 final quarter and the inside passing lane to track down the pace-setting Always A Prince and Trace Tetrick late in the lane to score in 1:50.2. With the win, the Jamie Macomber trainee recorded his second win of the season and established a new lifetime best in the process. The biggest upset of the night came in the very next division when Real Peace and Mike Oosting staged a big rally late in the lane to score in 1:53.2. Around The Horn LD and Trace Tetrick did much of the heavy lifting on the front and as the field turned for home, Real Peace found another gear and kicked home in :27.1 to get the win. Trained by Mike Brink, the three-year-old gelded son of Real Desire-Peace notched his first win of the season from three starts and sixth lifetime victory from 15 outings. Shnitzledosomethin looked every the bit the part of a 3-5 favorite as he used a gate to wire effort to score his first victory of the season, in his first outing, in 1:51.1. Driven by regular pilot Peter Wrenn, Shnitzledosomethin left aggressively from post two to dictate fractions of :28.4, :56.3, and 1:23.4 before cruising home to a two length victory. Trained by Dylan Davis, the son of Fred And Ginger-Summer N Sand bankrolled $355,337 throughout his two-year-old campaign, including a second place finish in the $600,000 Breeders Crown final for two-year-old pacing colts. In the final division of the night, Jeopardy and John DeLong turned a pocket trip into a 1:51.2 score. Romantic Interest and Trace Tetrick set splits of :26.1, :54.4, and 1:23.4 before feeling pressure from the rest of the field. Jeopardy found a :27.1 final quarter to surge past his rivals by nearly two lengths. Trained by Erv Miller, the gelded son of Rockin Image-Gottagetoutmore recorded his first win of the season and also established a new lifetime mark with the victory. It was also one of four wins on the evening's 13-race card for driver John DeLong. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 26 with three divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies. Saturday's 11-race card will also feature a $15,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 pool with $5,338.30 in carryover money. The Hoosier High-5, also known as the pentafecta, is featured in the last race of every program at Hoosier Park and features a reduced takeout of 12%. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com . by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

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

Pompano Beach, FL...March 5, 2018...Dee's Rocketman and Panocchio each won photo finish decisions as the Fred Monteleone Memorial Series continued at Pompano Park on Sunday night (March 4). After the five-eighths mile sprint in the opening leg of the three race series, the distance stretched to the normal mile distance in this round with both winners hitting the wire in 1:52.2 in each of these $12,000 events. Dee's Rocketman, driven by Mickey McNichol, scored his fifth win in seven 2018 starts in the opener, holding off the furious late surge of Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey, by a head. Rocky's Z Tam, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in his sully, finished third with Lyons Johnny next. A Cool Card completed the first race roster in this quintet. At the outset, Rocky's Z Tam zipped off the wings into an early lead, taking the field through a sizzling opening panel of :26.2. Shortly thereafter, Lyons Johnny (John MacDonald) made a sharp quarter move to the top and took the field half way through the mile in :55. On the backside, Dee's Rocketman, away fifth and last, began sprinting first up, reaching third and gnawing away past the third station in 1:23.3 with Drachan Hanover now in pursuit, as well. Turning for home, it turned into a sprint to the wire with Dee's Rocketman holding off Drachan Hanover on the wire. In a post-race interview, driver-trainer Mickey McNichol related, "of course, the quick pace help us a bit and my horse does his best from off the pace. He doesn't mind the open air and, when I sent him first up on the backside looking for some cover, there wasn't any--but that didn't bother him at all. He just kept on going and we held off a very good horse (Drachan Hanover) at the end of the mile." Dee's Rocketman now has banked $24,485 with his quintet of wins this young season. Lifetime, the six year-old ridgeling son of Rock N Roll Heaven has bounty of $143,747 to go along with his Pompano Park mark of 1:50.4 for breeder-owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. Off as the second choice at 3 to 1, Dee's Rocketman paid $8.80 to win. Panocchio, the track record holder at Pompano Park, was driven by Wally Hennessey and held off a very determined Doo Wop Hanover, handled by Anthony Kerwood, by a neck. Uncmprmising Z Tam, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. in his bike, finished third after cutting fractions of :27.3, 56.1 and 1:24. Hollywood Sign finished fourth after appearing to lack racing room turning for home. Sing For Me George earned the minor award in the field of five. Panocchio, the now eight year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, was given a well deserved two month rest in mid-December and had his initial 2018 start last week in the first leg of the Monteleone Memorial--the five-eighths mile sprint--where he finished second after sawing off the panels of :27.1 and :55.1 in an event won by Hollywood Sign in 1:08.2, just off world record time. This time around, Panocchio was reserved off the early pace before going first up on the backstretch, engaging in war with the leader before pushing his nose in front mid-stretch and then holding off the surging Doo Wop Hanover. Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey   - Skip Smith Photo Trainer Jim Mattison was very happy with his charge's performance saying, "He needed the time off after a tough racing season--31 starts--and, you know, they aren't machines, so you hope for the best every time they step foot on the racetrack. I don't train him much--maybe 2:20 or 2:30--but he sure knows what to do when he gets back of the gate." Panocchio now has 59 career wins (37 at Pompano Park) in 141 starts with earnings now vaulting over the $500,000 plateau with the win--$500,143 to be precise--for trainer Mattison, who co-owns with Emile Johnson, Jr. Off at 4 to 5, Panocchio paid $3.60 to win. The Fred Monteleone Memorial concludes next week with a purse of $30,000 awaiting in the final leg going 1 1/4 miles. Racing continues Monday night with first post set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry for Pompano Park                

Pompano Beach, FL...February 27, 2018...Wild Wanda, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., dug in late to escape with a narrow victory in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Pace for mares on Monday night (February 26). The courageous seven year-old daughter of Palone Ranger held off the late charging Galarina, handled by Andy Santeramo, by a neck in 1:53.1. Embassy Seelster, with Fern Paquet, Jr. in her sulky finished third while Strings and Swinging Cami completed the roster in the talented quintet. At the outset, Wild Wanda zipped off the Hummer wings to take command a few long strides after the start with Strings (John MacDonald) also away well and Galarina now on the prowl in search of the lead, which she took at the opening station in :27.1--but not for long. An anxious Wild Wanda reclaimed her top shortly after and reached the half in a well rated :57. On the backside, things began to heat up as Wild Wanda was on a :28.1 blitz to maintain her clear lead past the third station in 1:25.1. That's when Galarina left the coziness of the pocket and began gnawing away--her rally falling just short on the wire. In a post race interview, driver Ricky Macomber related, "my mare has been right there with them every start since arriving at Pompano and, tonight, things went her way. That second quarter breather helped her and she was strong coming home. She went a very courageous trip, both early and late. Trained by wife Jamie Macomber for Mary Jo Rheinheimer and the Dojea Stables, Wild Wanda won for the second time this semester in seven starts--her 2-3-2 scorecard pushing her 2018 bounty to $21,890 and $448,255 lifetime. Off at 1 to 5 on the tote-board, Wild Wanda paid $2.40 to win. There were fireworks of sorts at the mutual windows on Monday night, as well, as a $40,000 Pick-5 guaranteed pool sparked a record Pick-5 wagering pool of $74,891. With a 5 to 2 shot kicking things off in the first leg, the next four winners were even money, 5 to 2, 5 to 1 and 6 to 5 resulting in a very generous payoff of $579.55 for the 50 cent ticket. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 carryover that has ballooned to $256,029.    by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...February 26, 2018...Rocky's Z Tam and Hollywood Sign A took the opening legs of the Fred Monteleone Memorial Series at Pompano Park, each covering the abbreviated distance of five-eighths of a mile in 1:08.2. Moneteone, a long time patron of the sport who bred and owned many notable horses, passed away last October after a lengthy battle with cancer. Rocky's Z Tam, the six year-old gelded son of World of Rocknroll, went a game first over journey for driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. to score by a neck over the pace-setting Drachan Hanover, handled by Wally Hennessey. Lyons Johnny closed stoutly for John MacDonald to finish third, just a half length away, while the favorite, Dee's Rocket Man, finished fourth. Fritzie Pic Up Man, last and far back early from his outside post, actually closed fastest of all to pick up the nickel in the classy field of seven. The early fractions of :27 and :54.3 were put up by Drachan Hanover with Rocky's Z Tam away fourth but on a first over binge engaging the leader in war around the final bend. These two raced as a team all the way home with Lyons Johnny joining the fray in deep stretch. On the line, Rocky's Z Tam, an 18 to 1 proposition, got the nod, scoring his second win of the year in seven starts. In a post race interview, trainer Jamie Macomber was proud of the pacers performance relaying, "He (Rocky's Z Tam) had been giving hints in his recent races, so I was expecting him to be competitive tonight. Ricky (husband Macomber) drove him with confidence and the horse raced with confidence. He kept digging right to the wire...very happy!" Owned by Z Tam Stables LLC, Rocky's Z Tam won for the 14th time in 99 career starts with the major share of the $12,000 purse sending his lifetime bounty to $162,196 to go along with his Hoosier Park mark of 1:50.1. Off as fifth choice, Rocky's Z Tam paid $38.20 to win. Hollywood Sign A, the nine year-old gelded Aussie bred son of Life Sign, was given very smart handling by owner-trainer Matt Krueger to pin a one length defeat on track record holder Panocchio--the latter making his 2018 debut for trainer Jim Mattison and driver Wally Hennessey. Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., was third, threr lengths back, while Sing For Me George and Doo Wop Hanover earned the minors in the sharp octet. At the bell, Hollywood Sign A, leaving from post seven, left smartly with Panocchio (post 8) in hot pursuit with the latter taking command through an opening panel of :27.1. Panocchio continued to lead through a half in :55.1 and seemed to have things under control. Straightening away for the drive home, Hollywood Sign A tilted out of his cozy pocket and began gnawing away until taking command a sixteenth from the wire. Hollywood Sign, with Matt Krueger in his bike              -Skip Smith Photo Second in his last four outings, Hollywood Sign A picked up his first win of the year in seven starts, vaulting his seasonal bounty to $17,385. Lifetime, it was win number 29 in 145 starts, good for $217,293. Off as the 2 to 1 second choice, Hollywood Sign A paid $6.20 to win. The Fred Monteleone Memorial Series continues with the next leg being at one mile and the $30,000 final slated for 1 1/4 miles. The $10,000 Open II pace went to American Hustle, smartly handled by Bryce Fenn. This four year-old son of American Ideal wired his opposition by stringing together panels of :26.2, 55.3 and 1:23.4 before a :27.3 finale held The Onlyest One, with George Napolitano, Jr. handling the line,  at bay by a half length in a lifetime best 1:51.2 Pointsman, driven by Rick Plano, was third while Bestinthebusiness and No Bad Dreams also picked up checks in the field of six. It was the 10th career win in only 22 career starts for owner-trainer Brian Lawrence. Third choice at 5 to 1, American Hustle paid $12.40 to win Racing continues on Monday night with a Pick-5 carryover of $10,556.70 igniting a $40,000 guarantee. The Pick-5 begins on Race 1. The Super Hi-5 Jackpot is also at record territory with a carryover of $251,878.96 going into the Monday program. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...January 1, 2018...Wild Wanda, perfectly rated by Ricky Macomber, Jr., tamed her harness racing foes with a 1:52.4 win in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Sunday night. The gallant seven year-old daughter of Palone Ranger, drawing a post one slot inside of her main rival, All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald, used that draw to her advantage as she left with alacrity this night then yielded briefly to the latter before reclaiming the top spot with a sharp quarter move. The winning margin was a half length at the line with Sue's Night Out, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, third after a ground saving journey from her inside post position. Northern Dali was fourth while Machin Marley rounded out the order of finish after a brief backside bid. As the Silver Bullet left the station, Wild Wanda, in a change of strategy from last week's debut when she was two lengths off the gate at the start, was out very alertly as All Charged Up also surged up from the opening bell into an early lead. Not content with the garden seat, Wild Wanda was out and driving just short of the tepid :28 opening panel and into the lead, taking the field through a half in :56.2. An identical :56.2 final half was in the cards and, after the third station was reached in 1:24.2, Wild Wanda was on her way home with a :28.2 finale with All Charged Up surging late but the issue was never in doubt. Trainer Jamie Macomber had high praise for the mare reflecting, "She does have a high turn of speed leaving but, unlike last week where we were outside of All Charged Up, we drew inside and that changed the whole picture of the race." Driver Ricky Macomber, Jr. echoed her sentiments saying, "I sent her tonight because I didn't want to spot John's great mare (All Charged Up) four or five lengths because she is awfully tough on the front end. But so is my mare!" Owned by Mary Jo Rheinheimer along with the Dojea Stables, Wild Wanda kicked off her 2018 with the win after a 2017 campaign which saw her win $102,250. She now has career earnings of $431,865 to go along with her Hoosier Park mark of 1:50.2. As the 3 to 5 favorite, Wild Wanda paid $3.40 to win. Racing continues Tuesday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover that has ballooned to $46,698. Post time is 7:20. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

ANDERSON — Race day starts at 6 a.m. for harness racing trainer Jamie Macomber.  This Saturday was no different, though the nerves and adrenaline were a bit higher as she prepared her horses to race in the final day of harness racing's premier competition, the Breeders Crown. “You have done all you can do this week, so now we just make sure they are ready to race,” Macomber said. Walking through the stall ahead of the night of races, Macomber, a Fishers resident who stays in Anderson throughout racing season, couldn’t express what it feels like to see a horse she’s trained compete against the best in the world. “You know it’s a feeling I can’t explain,” she said. “It’s an awesome feeling, fun, proud to be here.” Alas, she later learned she had to scratch Crescent Fashion, her horse entered in the first Breeders Crown event of the evening. It meant she could focus her attention on Beckhams Z Tam, who was competing in the 11th race of the day. Harness racing is a family affair for Macomber, who grew up in the sport. She’s married to driver Ricky Macomber, who’s won nearly 3,200 races and earned $33 million in purses. Though she grew up around the sport, Macomber didn’t plan to follow the family legacy, and instead earned a marketing degree from Ohio University. But after trainer Ron Burke asked her to take care of a couple horses, she hopped back into the saddle. This is Macomber’s first year with her own stable, but she’s won more than 110 races and $1.5 million in purses, battling with trainer Jeff Cullipher for leading trainer at Hoosier Park. She splits duties with her husband, arriving at the track early and usually heading home for a quick lunch and a nap, when she can swing it, before heading back to Hoosier Park to watch her husband and her horses compete. It’s the competition that’s kept the 38-year-old in the stables throughout most of her life. “They are all here to win,” she said gesturing to the other horses and drivers. And there’s no right or wrong way to do it.” For Macomber, building a bond with all of her horses is what helps her to stay successful. “The bond is more like a parent and a child, but they can’t talk to you, so you have got to read them,” she said. “I often say: 'I don’t have two kids, I have 32 kids.'” Despite the early mornings slogging through rain and mud, days spent in cramped barns and the ever-present need to perform at her best — Macomber wouldn’t have it any other way. “We love what we do,” she said. “It’s a family, and it’s our family.” By Christopher Stephens The Herald Bulletin Reprinted with permission of The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. - Beckhams Z Tam out-dueled 3-5 favorite Downbytheseaside down the stretch to win Saturday night's $527,500 Breeders Crown for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers by one-quarter length in 1:51.1, and in the process, touched off an emotional celebration at Hoosier Park. Miso Fast was third. Beckhams Z Tam, the third Indiana-bred of the night to capture a Breeders Crown, has spent nearly his entire career racing at Hoosier Park. He was driven by Ricky Macomber Jr. and is trained by his wife, Jamie, who is a former assistant to trainer Ron Burke. The colt is owned by Bill Matz's Z Tam Stables. It was the first Breeders Crown win for all. Jamie Macomber greeted her husband with a hug and kiss as he returned to the winner's circle with Beckhams Z Tam. A large crowd gathered in and around the winner's circle and shouted words of congratulations to the connections. "I never dreamed anything like this," a teary-eyed Jamie Macomber said as she made her way to the trophy presentation. "This is his home track. Turning for home, I knew he was the winner. I don't know what to say. My husband did it. It's amazing." All but three of Beckhams Z Tam's career races have come at Hoosier Park. Miso Fast was the early leader, taking the field to the opening quarter in :26.2. Downbytheseaside claimed the lead prior to the half, reached in :56, and remained on top when he hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Beckhams Z Tam was fourth at three-quarters, following the first-over cover of Mac's Jackpot, before surging three wide and making his way to the front. Downbytheseaside remained within striking distance, but was unable to get closer than the final margin. "That horse that was first up, I was a little worried that he wouldn't be able to carry me around the last turn, and I was more concerned about that half being in 56 flat," said Ricky Macomber. "It was a little slow, but he overcame it." Macomber pumped his fist as he crossed the finish line. "I was thrilled," he said. "Just a big weight lifted off my shoulders." Jamie Macomber is in her first year of running her own stable after spending the past 10 years handling Burke's Indiana-stabled horses. She received support, as well as horses such as Beckhams Z Tam, from Wilbur Eash, who was looking to slow down with an eye toward retirement. Macomber took over the training of Beckhams Z Tam in March. "I couldn't have had a better team to prep me for this," said Jamie Macomber. "Ron Burke is an amazing man and my parents are awesome." Beckhams Z Tam has won 11 of 19 races this year and earned $500,295. For his career, the son of Always A Virgin out of the mare Sara's Lucky Charm, has won 11 of 25 races and $547,994. Sent off at odds of 9-2, Beckhams Z Tam paid $11.20 to win. By Ken Weingartner, for Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 7, 2017 - Beckhams Z Tam and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. made a clean sweep of the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action after they captured the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 7. With a final time of 1:50.3, Beckhams Z Tam notched his third consecutive victory at Hoosier Park and became the sport's newest $100,000 earner after the victory. Leaving from post two in a talented field of ten, Beckhams Z Tam was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fifth. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. had Meadowbrook Tiger pointed to the front from post six to get the first call through a snappy opening panel in :25.4. Limited Edition and Todd Warren benefitted from a pocket trip while Dave and Dennis and Brandon Bates were next in line, third. Macomber Jr. gave Beckhams Z Tam the go-ahead and he quickly marched to the front to grab command just before the half in :54.2. Unable to wait any longer, Trace Tetrick also gave Rock N Tony the green light down the backside and he began his long first-over journey to the front. Reaching the three-quarter clocking in 1:22.1, Rock N Tony was able to reach the leader's wheel as the field tightened and turned for home. Rock N Tony began to feel the long first-over mile just as Beckhams Z Tam found another gear. Utilizing a :28.2 final quarter, Beckhams Z Tam kicked home to win by a two and a half lengths over Rock N Tony. Meadowbrook Tiger held on for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Beckhams Z Tam returned $4.80 to his supporters at the betting windows. Trained by Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Jamie Macomber, Beckhams Z Tam recorded his seventh victory from eight seasonal starts and seventh lifetime win from 14 outings. The 1:50.3 clocking established a new lifetime mark for the three-year-old son of Always A Virgin-Sara's Lucky Charm. Owned by the Z Tam Stables LLC, Beckhams Z Tam pushed his lifetime bankroll to $115,861 with the victory. Beckhams Z Tam Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, July 8 with a 12-race card featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 4, 2017 - Crescent Fashion, with Ricky Macomber Jr. at the lines, scored in impressive fashion in his Hoosier Park Racing & Casino debut as he shattered a four-year-old track record for harness racing older trotting horses in a conditioned trotting event on Tuesday, July 4. Stopping the timer in 1:52.1, Crescent Fashion scored his first win of the season and also established a new lifetime best in the process. The previous track record of 1:52.3 was established by Uncle Peter and David Miller in the 2013 edition of the Centaur Trotting Classic. The time also marked the third track record that has been equaled or lowered over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval in 2017. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite from post three in the talented field of nine, Crescent Fashion was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fourth. Shawnee Valley and Brandon Bates were the first to get a call and led the field through the opening panel in :27.1. Macomber Jr. gave Crescent Fashion the green light down the backside and he quickly grabbed command just before the half in :56.2. Crescent Fashion continued to call the shots through the third panel in 1:24.2 while the rest of the field was struggling to stay within striking distance. As the field turned for home, Crescent Fashion looked strong on the front. Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were closing strong on the outside but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile. Utilizing a :27.4 final panel, Crescent Fashion coasted on to the wire and finished a length and three-quarters in front of Bridge To Jesse's. Shawnee Valley held on gamely for third place honors. As the heavy betting favorite, Crescent Fashion returned $3.40 to his backers at the betting windows. "I was very impressed with his effort tonight," trainer Jamie Macomber noted. "We were expecting a solid performance but not a track record performance. He has been nothing but class since arriving in Indiana and is a pleasure to have in our barn. I look forward to racing him again." Trained by Hoosier Park's current leading trainer, Jamie Macomber, Crescent Fashion notched the first win from six seasonal starts and his ninth lifetime victory from 38 outings. The five-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Fashion Feline has now amassed $456,196 lifetime for owners Let It Ride Stables, Mr. D. Parham, and T. Grossman. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Wednesday, July 5 with a 14-race card featuring the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting fillies. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com Emily Gaskin

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