Florida honors its best at awards dinner
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Mark O'Mara's driving career began at age 15 with a win behind Son Of Waygale at the Troy, OH matinee. Developed by his stall active training father, Frank, Mark successfully campaigned on the Grand Circuit during which he led 1986 Two Year-Old Pacer of the Year Jate Lobell. Jate was undefeated in 15 starts that year and the pair returned at age three to earn the Three Year-Old Pacer of the Year title before retiring with career earnings of $2.2 million. O'Mara also directed Breeders Crown winning trotters Firm Tribute and Lassie's Goal. The Michigan native and now Parkland, FL resident has 2,266 career victories as driver, good for over $24.3 million in purses earned. Mark also has 288 training wins that account for $3.3 million in earnings. Currently, Mark campaigns top class veteran pacer Cruizin KC and the open trotters Jolene's Pinehonker and HP Forte at Pompano Park and is an annual dominant driving and training leader at Hoosier Park during the summer season.
Steve Wolf is a worthy recipient of the Communicators Corner USHWA Florida award. Currently Director of North American Operations of Harnesslink.com, Steve first came to Florida as Isle Pompano Park's Director of Marketing and later as Senior Director of Racing Operations. He led numerous successful promotions including driver tournaments, claiming series events, family nights, live concerts, car shows, giveaway and cash contests, charity and celebrity events and the noteworthy "Hot to Trot” horse racing fireworks show featuring Australia's Vincent Silvestro and his chestnut pacer Hand Me Silver.
Wolf was previously Director of Marketing and Publicity and Freehold Raceway and Assistant Director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. He also worked in the publicity offices at Liberty Bell Park and Brandywine Raceway. Born and raised in Flemington. NY, Steve was part of the Leo Wolf & Son Inc. breeding and racing operation with his parents, Ruth and Manny Wolf, during which they bred million-dollar winning pacer Doc's Fella. Steve was a hands-on horseman, prepping yearlings at Lana Lobell Farm of New Jersey and as racehorse caretaker.
Other USHWA Florida, FSBOA and Florida Amateur Driver Awards
USHWA Florida awarded deserving attending recipients of its other prestigious awards to Joe Harvilla, Pam Senclair, Victoria Howard and Peter Roccasano, Laurie Poulin, Michelle Hallett, Tom Audley, Kim Sears and Jody Dancer. In addition, USHWA Florida held its traditional silent and live auctions of standardbred memorabilia and a 50/50 raffle that benefit university scholarship and Aime Choquette funds.
The well attended annual event had nearly 200 guests and also served as the presentation venue for the FSBOA Crystal Awards to its top 2013 stakes and overnight leaders, Breeder of the Year (Kim and Jay Sears) and Florida Amateur Driver of the Year (John Campagnuola).