Deputy Julianna arrived in the stable of owners Larry and Le Anna Muckenhirn in October 2008, and the then 3-year-old female trotter made an immediate impression.
"I’ll never forget the day she got off the truck," Larry said. "I just fell in love with her. She was wonderful."
Deputy Julianna had a brief but successful career for the Muckenhirns, but upon retirement made a lasting impression on the couple’s involvement in harness racing. She became the Muckenhirns’ first broodmare and produced five foals before passing away last year.
"She had the heart, she had the desire, she had the ability," Larry said about the mare, who won 15 of 42 career races and swept the 2008 Expresson Series for the Muckenhirns. "She had such a good background that we decided to take a chance and start breeding her."
Her two most recent foals, Beabob’s Bear and Beabob’s Boss, are sons of stallion Swan For All -- Indiana’s top money-winning trotting sire -- and have brought the promise of keeping Deputy Julianna’s memory alive. They are the Muckenhirns’ only racehorses at this time.
Beabob’s Bear, a 3-year-old, was limited to four starts in 2017 because of surgery to remove a bone chip, but won twice and is staked to events for Indiana-bred trotters. Beabob’s Boss is a 2-year-old preparing for his career debut.
"This is our last shot," Le Anna said.
Beabob’s Bear makes his 2018 debut Wednesday (April 11) in the first round of the Cardinal Series at Hoosier Park. The gelding is the 2-1 favorite on the morning line, starting from post nine for driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Tom T. Tetrick. Post time is 6:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race and the Cardinal is race 10 on the 10-race card.
The second round of the series is April 18 and the final is April 25.
"We can’t wait until Wednesday night," Larry said. "We’re just hoping he has a good race. We’re not worried about him winning, we just want him to behave out there. He’s still learning. He’s only got four races in him, but he’s got the ability that’s for sure."
Added Le Anna, with a laugh, "The trainer told us Bear is very spoiled. He’s just a beautiful horse. He got a late start last year so we didn’t stake him. We didn’t want to push him. But this year we’ve got him in three or four series and then the (Indiana) stakes."
Larry and Le Anna, who live in Anderson, Ind., near Hoosier Park, bought their first racehorse in the early 2000s and enjoyed their greatest success with trotter Blowlowsanta. The gelding competed at the top levels in Indiana and finished his career with $340,404 in purses.
"We still own Blowlowsanta," Larry said. "He’s the one horse that we said my wife could get attached to."
Chimed in Le Anna, "And that didn’t work real well."
Blowlowsanta’s success helped the Muckenhirns build a training center, Pace Setter Farm, on 58 acres near Hoosier Park. The facility, now owned by their son Chad Gooding and managed by Le Anna’s sister Amy, is home to 140 stalls and five-eighths-mile track. Gooding is on the Indiana Standardbred Association Board of Directors.
The Muckenhirns’ horses are named to honor Larry’s parents, Bea and Bob.
"My parents, who lived in Michigan, were very supportive of us," Larry said. "They were elderly and could never make it here to see the first barn and the track being built, but they really enjoyed our enthusiasm and our risk-taking in the horse industry. So we decided to name all our horses using the first name Bea and Bob."
The Muckenhirns, who are both retired from administrative roles in the food services department for the Anderson schools, enjoy going to the training center and watching their horses.
And, of course, they enjoy seeing them in one other location.
"I particularly like the winner’s circle," Le Anna said.--By Ken Weingartner/USTA