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Osborne selected for induction into Ohio Hall of Fame

January 09, 2009

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Jerome T. Osborne has been selected as the 35th inductee into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame in balloting of the Ohio Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Osborne’s selection will be honored at the Ohio Harness Horsemen/United States Trotting Association District One banquet on Saturday, Jan. 17, in Dublin.

Other Ohio USHWA award winners are John Caton and Hugh Bell, elected into the Immortal Hall of Fame; Striking Sahbra and Dream Of Glory, elected into the Standardbred Hall of Fame; Bill Peshina, winner of the Rambling Willie Award for the Ohioan who has done the most for harness racing over the past two decades; David Miller, recipient of the Winner’s Circle Award for the Ohioan who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the past year; and John D. Wengerd, who will receive the Peter Haughton Memorial Award as the young Ohioan who is an \"up-and-coming\" star among harness horsemen.

Since buying his first horse in 1972, Osborne, 86, has owned some of the greatest horses to race in the Buckeye State. The native of Mentor campaigned such rich performers as Sharky Osborne ($591,841); Majestic Osborne ($554,782); Justabit Of Magic ($544,720); Empress Osborne ($371,176); Osborne’s Gypsy ($310,055) and Osborne’s Bret ($149,600). Osborne is the founder of Osborne Companies, a conglomerate of sixteen companies that serve the construction needs of customers in northeast Ohio.

A longtime owner and patron of the Don Swick Stable, Peshina has been active in the sport for 30 years. He races under the name of Royal Wire Products Inc. and had campaigned top horses like Breeders Crown and Mistletoe Shalee winner Cam Swifty and Breeders Crown and Valley Victory champ Fast Photo.

Miller had another fantastic season in 2008 as his mounts banked more than $12.1 million. Among his top efforts in 2008 were a pair a Breeders Crown Final victories with A And G’sconfusion and Fox Valley Topaz. Miller also captured his second Little Brown Jug win behind Shadow Play.

At the age of 22, Wengerd had a tremendous year as a driver at Northfield Park, finishing in the Top 10 of the standings at the Route Eight oval. Overall, he posted career-best numbers of 175 wins and earnings of over $500,000.

Bell, a native of Bellpoint in Delaware County, became one of the most respected \"catch drivers\" in the sport. Bell was the leading driver at Toledo, Detroit, Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways in the 1950s and 1960s. He concluded his career with 1,594 career victories, including the 1958 Cane Futurity with Raider Frost.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Caton was the son of Hall of Famer Will Caton. The young Caton began jogging horses in the late 1920’s as a teen. In 1957, he captured his first of three Northfield Park’s driving titles. He continued to drive into his early sixties, until a serious racing accident left him in a wheelchair for a number of months. Caton was enshrined on Northfield Park’s Wall of Fame in 1992.

Dream Of Glory was a winner of 17 of 42 lifetime starts. The son of Speedy Count earned $473,316 in his career and had a time trial record of 1:57.2 as a 3-year-old. As a sire, he had 1,167 registered foals with earnings of over $47.7 million.

Striking Sahbra was a consistent performer with 26 on-the-board finishes in 31 career starts. The Supergill - Supreme Sahbra colt earned $217,492 for Marvin J. Gross. In the breeding shed, he has produced a pair of millionaire performers, Pure Ivory and Hez Striking. Striking Sahbra currently stands in Ontario.

The OHHA Annual Awards Banquet & USTA District 1 Annual meeting will be held at the Columbus Marriott Northwest Hotel. Ticket reservations may be made by calling the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association at (800) 353-6442. (Ohio USHWA)

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