Horse Racing

Trainer Whit Beckman Talks Honor Marie on the TDN Writers’ Room

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Updated: November 29, 2023 at 7:57 pm

Trainer Whit Beckman | Coady photo

Whit Beckman has been the assistant to two of the top trainers in the country, but this past week, he landed the first graded stakes win of his own career when Honor Marie (Honor Code) won the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill. Beckman was the Green Group Guest of the Week on this week’s TDN Writers’ Room Podcast presented by Keeneland.

“Going into it, I was fairly confident we were going to see that new dimension of him being able to really close, and kind of find his stride. Some of those one-turn races you could see kind of takes a while to get himself kind of geared up. Fortunately, in that first start, everything kind of worked out. He got there that second start on a real sloppy track. It was just some tough conditions. But he still ran a really legitimate race. And I mean, going into this prior to it, I wasn’t worried.”

Honor Marie, a $40,000 KEESEP yearling, was a debut winner of a restricted maiden special weight at Churchill Downs Sept. 29. He was second to Otto the Conqueror (Street Sense) in an optional claimer in the slop at Churchill Downs Oct. 29, and was making his two-turn debut in the Kentucky Jockey Club. He will now head to Fair Grounds to prepare for his 3-year-old career.



“He’s done everything right to this point,” said Beckman. “He’s a young horse, a May foal. So him early on, he just had some maturity things and just kind of a rawness about him. We needed a little bit more time to get him going. But now that he’s starting to kind of figure things out on the mental side, we’ve always known the physical side was there. At this point, the way he won, the way the gallop-out went, he could go on to be a very legitimate horse.”

Beckman discusses what he learned from Brown and Pletcher–but doesn’t give away any secrets–and also talks about his stint in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere on the podcast, which is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, West Point Thoroughbreds, Kentucky-breds, WinStar Farm and, Randy Moss and Zoe Cadman reviewed the slate of Thanksgiving weekend’s races, discuss this weekend coming up, and talk about Bill Finley’s interview with Stuart Janney about the 60 Minutes broadcast in Wednesday’s TDN.

To listen to the audio version of the podcast, click here.

To watch the video version, click here.

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