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Louisville Native Assistant Trainer Dreams of Winning the Garland of Roses

Assistant trainer, Whit Beckman hopes to win the Kentucky Derby in front of hometown crowd.
Assistant trainer, Whit Beckman hopes to win the Kentucky Derby in front of hometown crowd.(Kendrick Haskins)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -Being an assistant trainer is not easy. “We get out here usually around five. From there we usually start taking them out to the track. You know, however many riders we have, that will be a set,” said Louisville native and St. X grad, Whit Beckman.

Beckman does job he does with love and passion. He grew up around horses with his dad being an equine veterinarian, and his mom always being active with horses, but that’s not necessarily where his passion for horse racing comes from. “The passion I think just comes from, I don’t think it’s my parents so much, as far as what I did, and what I enjoy about working with the animals,” Beckman said.

Whit’s the assistant trainer for Chad Brown. “He’s been terrific, and he’s been with us for a number of years. Of course he has a lot of experience prior to working with me,” said Brown. The two had been friends for years before Beckman joined Brown’s team a few years ago. They’re looking to win the Derby and the Oaks this year. They’re running with Search Results in the Oaks. “She’s obviously a lightly raced filly, but very talented,” Beckman said. They’re looking for the victory in Saturday’s big race with Highly Motivated in the Derby. “I like the horse. Obviously, fitness wise, he’s a lightly started horse. This will be his fifth start in the Derby,” commented Beckman.

Of course, the first question asked to any horseman is “have you ever won the Kentucky Derby?” Well, the answer for Whit Beckman is...kinda. Beckman was part of Todd Pletcher’s team when Super Saver won the Run for the Roses back in 2010, but was not in attendance. “I was actually in Saratoga opening up that division,” said Beckman. So, he’s hungry to win the race in his hometown. “I remember I was watching from Saratoga. It was a thrill of a lifetime, but still it would have been that much better to be ringside,” exclaimed Beckman. “There’s so many things that I would enjoy being a part of with a Derby win with a lot of different people involved. Him being a Louisville native would be one of them for me to see,” Brown said about Beckman.

Derby Day could be a dream come true for both Beckman and Brown, who also is looking for his first Kentucky Derby win.

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