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Marty Wollam and Let's Get Started top Ohio award winners
Sunday, January 22, 2017 - by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

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Columbus, OH --- As Martin "Marty" Wollam, 67, strode to the stage on Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Doubletree Hotel in Worthington, Ohio, during the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association's annual awards banquet, it was with the energy and purpose of a man a quarter of his age for he was on a mission: to collect his hardware commemorating his induction into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Beaming with joy, Wollam briefly recounted his five decades of participation in the sport and rather than focusing on the multitude of horses that collected 1,784 trips to the winner's circle as a trainer and 1,139 in the sulky, he told all those assembled how proud he was to have the opportunity to do something he loved so dearly with his family.

 
Marty Wollam (center) was inducted into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He is joined in the photo by Winnie Morgan Nemeth and Phil Terry of the Ohio Chapter-USHWA.

"There is not one day I ever went to work," said the Vienna, Ohio, resident. "I just went to the barn. My wife, Patty, who passed away in 2012 and I enjoyed a partnership for more than 40 years. Without her hard work and dedication I would not be standing here now. I am also blessed my son and son-in-law, after some time away from the business, returned to become a part of our stable.

"Since I started working in 1965 for Forrest Short as a 16-year-old there have been so many changes in the sport, including safety helmets which would probably have saved Forrest from his death after his accident. I wish I could stand here 50 years from now and tell everyone about how it will change, but instead I just want to thank the Ohio chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association for selecting me for this honor."

Already a 2011 Wall of Fame inductee at Northfield Park, his home track, Wollam guided the careers of 12 Ohio Sire Stakes champions including such notables as Full Count, Count Me In, Doink N Doni, Contessa Leigh and Neely's Messenger. He also trained Striking Sahbra, who became a member of the Ohio Standardbred Hall of Fame in 2008, and Caviar Forthe Lady, a champion in Pennsylvania.

The evening's other standout victor was the 2-year-old trotting filly champion and Ohio Horse of the Year Let's Get Started. Competing as a homebred for Joyce McClelland, Let's Get Started amassed a 7-6-1-0 resume in her stellar debut season and banked $243,910. The only blemish on her record came in the first start of her career when a :28.1 last quarter-mile was not quite enough to get her past race-winner Chim Swift in an Ohio Sire Stakes race at Northfield Park.

 
Brad Conrad photos
OHHA president Kevin Greenfield presents Let's Get Started's Ohio Horse of the Year Award to Richard McClelland (left) and Bobby Brower (right).

A daughter of Dejarmbro-Tori Ann by S J's Photo, Let's Get Started is a half-sibling to Shanty Irish (Muscles Yankee, $125,739), She Wore Red (Yankee Glide, $195,675) and Milligan's School (Yankee Glide, $539,762). Trained by Bobby Brower, the filly captured the $250,000 Ohio Sire Stakes final on Sept. 3 at Northfield Park for the largest payday of her young career then closed out her season with another win in a $57,220 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Sept. 21.

Although she is currently on a six-race win streak and performed impressively enough to be lauded as the state's Horse of the Year, an accolade which is rare for freshmen, Richard McClelland, her co-breeder, explained preparing this young lady for the races was not an easy task.

"She was difficult," he said. "We just could not get her out of the barn. Then we turned her over to Bobby (Brower) and we were not really sure what was going to happen. After he had her for a little while, we started talking and of course I asked him how she was doing. He said the same thing, 'She doesn't want to get out of the barn, but when you get on the track she is very good.'"

Other U.S. Harness Writers Association Award winners were:

Peter Haughton Memorial Award-Eric Tharps Jr.
Winner's Circle Award-Aaron Merriman
Rambling Willie Award-Jim Beachy
Ohio Standardbred Hall of Fame-Dunkster
Immortals of Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame-Joe Marsh Jr.

The horses joining Let's Get Started as the Ohio champions were:

Two-year-old pacing colt-Scotch McEwan
Two-year-old pacing filly-Berazzled
Two-year-old trotting colt-Rose Run Spanky
Three-year-old pacing colt-Mr Wiggle Pants
Three-year-old pacing filly-My Tweed Heart
Three-year-old trotting colt-Wegoferdaprize
Three-year-old trotting filly-Consolidator
Older trotting horse-I Know My Chip
Older pacing horse-Dancin Yankee

Kaltenbach Award (Ohio Sire Stakes) winners:

Jim Dailey-top trainer
Chris Page-top driver


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