By Mike Paradise
It you were watching television back in the decade of the 1960s the names of two horses that popped up a week ago at Hawthorne—Trixie’s Jethro and Sis’s Ellie Mae—had to put a smile on your face and if you bet them in the Exacta $54.80 your wallet.
“Jethro” and “Ellie May” were two of the major characters in the long-lasting hit comedy show “The Beverly Hillbillies,” which ran from 1962 through 1971 and twice was No. 1 watched TV show of the year.
Two of the Beverly Hillbillies cast namesakes, Trixie’s Jethro and Sis’s Ellie Mae, finished one-two a week ago in a 2-year-old trot race with Jared Finn getting the family bragging rights over his father John D Finn on that occasion.
Thursday night the two freshman trotters will go their separate ways.
Sis’s Ellie Mae is the heavy favorite in the first Fox Valley Flan division for ICF freshman fillies while stablemate Trixie’s Jethro is the youngster to beat in the first split of the Kadabra opening round in race two.
Jared will be at the lines of both of his father’s trained youngsters owned by their breeders. “Ellie Mae” was bred by James Rine and Charles Doehring, both of Brownsville, Illinois. Doehring is the sole owner and breeder fon “Jethro.”
So who was the big fan of the Beverly Hillbillies Show?
“That would be me,” replied J D. “I loved watching it as a kid.”
The 58-year-old Finn was in grammar school when the Clempett family comprised of Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen), Granny (Irene Ryan), Elly Mae Clempett (Donna Douglas) and Jethro Bodine (Max Baer Jr.) turned Beverly Hills upside down with the move to California after oil was discovered on their property.
Last week both of Finn’s trotters looked very good in their debuts.
“I was very happy the way both Jethro and Ellie Mae raced last week,” said J D, who posted his 1,000 winner as a driver last year and has over 600 wins as a trainer. “Both of them trained own really well and both were pointed for these stakes at Hawthorne.”
Trixie’s Jethro dam is Tropical Trixie, making him a half-brother to J D’s Illinois champion Captain Greedy who pulled own over $92,000 in purse money as a 3-year-old and chalked up victories in the Pronto Down at Du Quoin and Balmoral’s Su Mac Lad, and Hanover trotting stakes.
The very possible “Beverly Hillbillies” Daily Double winning combination will be followed by another division of the $10,000) Kadabra (race four) and the $10,000 Fox Valley Flan (race six).
The Nelson Willis Stable’s Matt Q (Casey Leonard) is my 6-5 as the favorite in the second Kadabra split despite his outside eight-slot while Dandy’s ESP (3-2, Todd Warren), who drew the pole position is expected to get the bulk of the sixth race wagering racing out of the barn of conditioner Rob Rittof.
By Mike Paradise