ANDERSON, Ind. – Beckhams Z Tam out-dueled 3-5 favorite Downbytheseaside down the stretch to win Saturday night’s $527,500 Breeders Crown for 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.