05/25/2015 10:03AM

Bergman: Bobs Hope carries big hopes for Beeckman stable

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Jimmy Takter’s powerful stable was on display in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on May 14 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The sport’s leading trotting trainer has numbers beyond belief and his arsenal of sophomore talent has literally all of the advantages. For it is far easier to train high caliber colts in groups than it is to train alone. Thus it was really no surprise to see Takter’s clan pick up the hardware as the three-year-old male class commenced its 2015 campaign.

It was hard not to notice the Takter corps cleaning up, but sometimes when looking for pearls you have to look away from the obvious. After three of Takter’s colts had already captured the first three divisions, with Uncle Lasse’s 1:53 the fastest, the stage was set for Pinkman to make his sophomore debut. Already a two-time qualifying winner in 2015 Pinkman was 1-10 on the board and looked to have no serious competitors. That’s why I thought it odd that through quick fractions of :28 2/5, :56 4/5 and 1:24 3/5 set by Yannick Gingras and Pinkman there was a horse following intently behind him. What was even more shocking was driver Corey Callahan actually pulling the pocket with Bobs Hope at nearly 60-1 odds.

While Pinkman powered off to score by four in 1:52 2/5, a wicked mile, finishing second timed in 1:53 1/5 was Bobs Hope, a gelding trained by Randy Beeckman, a conditioner that has but five horses in his care.

Beeckman is no stranger to the trotting scene and Bobs Hope may soon put his name in lights with the second leg of Sire Stakes action shifting to The Meadows on Friday and the horse no worse for wear after a brutally tough first race.

“He’s such a big horse,” said Beeckman. “We had growing problems with him last year but he did show talent.”

Beeckman should know a thing or two about talent. He was the caretaker for 1987 Hambletonian winner Mack Lobell and would eventually be lead trainer for Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester.

Beeckman too was surprised with Callahan’s decision to pull on the 1-10 favorite but accepted the explanation. “Corey told me that Yannick had gone to the whip on Pinkman,” said Beeckman.

Needless to say the time didn’t shock the trainer, who has high hopes for the altered son of Donato Hanover.

“We really didn’t stake him that much. He’s eligible in Pennsylvania and a few other places, but if he turns out to be a good horse there’s always his four, five and six-year-old season,” said Beeckman, clearly looking long term.

“I was able to train him with an aged horse Lightning Force over the winter and he kept up with him,” said Beeckman. “He’s got the speed as long as he stays sound.”

From a pure handicapping perspective there’s the belief that Bobs Hope may have finished a few lengths closer to Pinkman had Callahan kept him behind cover through the stretch. Given that it was just his third lifetime start and not only was he keeping pace with a proven stakes horse through a strong three quarter mile clocking, he was trotting well enough to the wire to go faster than every other three-year-old that afternoon with the exception of the two Takter stars Pinkman and Uncle Lasse.

Bobs Hope is the first male foal from the broodmare Real Hope, she a daughter of S Js Caviar from a family that has produced a solid trotting line many bred and raced by the Doug Ackerman stable. The family goes back to the full brothers Timothy T and Christopher T, winners of the 1970 and 1974 Hambletonians respectively.

The horse was a homebred of the Miller’s Stable Inc. of Kentucky.

“He’s out of the mare Real Hope and he was owned by Bob Miller,” said Beeckman of the name. Sadly Mr. Miller passed away over the winter but his hope in breeding a champion may play out in the weeks and months to come.

Beeckman, who is training at Joie De Vie Farms, has a nice three-year-old trotting filly in Lady Clarabella. “She’s off-bred by Lear Jetta,” said Beeckman. “But she does have speed.” Lady Clarabella won her last two races as a two-year-old including the $251K final of the Kindergarten Series at Vernon Downs last November. Lady Clarabella didn’t take kindly to the sloppy going at The Meadows in her first Pennsylvania Sire Stakes of the year on May 16 and finished third.

Beeckman sounded very upbeat about a two-year-old colt he has training. Jack Vernon is the name of the Muscle Hill-Vernon Blue Chip colt that the Miller’s paid $50,000 for last fall in Harrisburg. Considering that six of the first eight foals from the dam sold for over $100K at auction this could prove to be quite a bargain.

All of Vernon Blue Chip’s foals have made it to the races.

JAYWALKING: Father Patrick looked awesome in capturing the $150K Maxie Lee Memorial on Sunday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It was his first start of the year after qualifying three times. Driver Yannick Gingras indicated he used the horse’s last qualifier as a race because they couldn’t find one for the four-year-old. That’s really hard to understand considering that racing secretary Peter Koch at the Meadowlands opened up a class for four-year-olds on May 15 that somehow included the $100K winner in 2015 Opulent Yankee, a four-year-old, but not Father Patrick despite only nine horses on the gate.

Was Koch not able to find Takter’s phone number or text him?

Maven looks to be peaking at the right time if the video and final time of her race on Saturday in Sweden is to be believed. According to the teletimer Mosaique Face captured the stakes event in 1:51 with Maven finishing a strong second after making a wide brush down the backstretch. Even without the benefit of individual fractions that was a huge mile for Maven. The U. S. hope for the Elitlopp this Sunday, Maven drew post four in a field that includes the 2014 race winner Timoko (post 7). In last year’s final Timoko went wire-to-wire with Maven having no legitimate chance racing third over.

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