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O’Mara Scores 2,000th Win

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Published: May 22, 2009 8:21 pm ET

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Driver Mark O’Mara hit another impressive milestone in his career Friday, May 22, guiding Midnightsuperstar to victory in the fifth race of the evening to earn win 2,000. Greg Keidel, Hoosier Park’s Standardbred racing secretary, was present in the winner’s circle to help congratulate O’Mara on his accomplishment.

O’Mara rallied in gate to wire fashion with Midnightsuperstar, posting a half-length win over fast-closing Chaplin Hall, driven by Trace Tetrick. The seven-year-old Chivas Merit gelding recorded the mile in 1:57.4, a new lifetime mark. Genesis Priority and Andy Shetler finished third.

The win for Midnightsuperstar was his first of the year, and was a bit of a surprise to bettors. The Dan Perdue-trained horse paid $34.20, $13.00 and $6.00 across the board. Dr. Doug Bruinsma of Auburn, Indiana owns Midnightsuperstar.

“It’s just a number,” said O’Mara with a smile. “It’s taken me 36 years. The drivers now win that many in a year and a half. I’m just glad I’m still getting drives. Indiana has been good to us, and I appreciate the opportunities I get to drive.”

O’Mara got his first opportunity to drive at the age of 15, guiding Son Of Waygale to victory at the Troy, Ohio matinee. O’Mara’s father, Frank, is also an accomplished horseman and is still involved in the business as a trainer.

O’Mara has been a mainstay on the Indiana circuit for the past decade. He continues to be a dominant force in the driver standings at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, currently ranked in second place behind leader Peter Wrenn.

Prior to relocating to Hoosier Park during the summer months, O’Mara enjoyed major success on a national level, most notably his work as driver and trainer with standout pacer Jate Lobell. Jate Lobell turned in a perfect 15 for 15 season as a two-year-old in 1986, earning the title of Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year. The duo returned the next year with another successful season, earning the title of Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year. Jate Lobell retired with $2.2 million in earnings and 30 wins. He has gone onto a successful career as a sire in harness racing.

Other top horses under the direction of O’Mara include trotters Firm Tribute and Lassies Goal, both Breeders’ Crown winners. The Michigan native currently resides in Parkland, Florida where he spends the winter months each year.

(Hoosier Park)


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