What’s In A Name? Everything

Published: August 16, 2016 09:48 am EDT

When Lets Get Started won her $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes race on Monday night (August 15) at Northfield Park, breeder Richard McClelland, who owns the daughter of Dejarmbro in partnership with his wife, Joyce, couldn’t have been happier.

The filly not only set a new track record of 1:57 in the process, but her name also honours Richard’s mother, a native of Ireland who lived to be 94.

The McClellands, who hail from Zanesville, Ohio, are best known as the co-owners of last year’s Hambletonian winner, Pinkman. However, they are also heavily invested in the Ohio Sires Stakes program, having owned Standardbreds for four decades.

Trained by Bobby Brower, Lets Get Started (9-5) sat third through fractions of :29.1 and :57.4 before challenging the leading Chim Swift (driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) and taking over the lead at the 1:27.3 three-quarter mile marker. The solidly-trotting filly then used a :29.2 final quarter to sweep under the wire first.

The victory – Lets Get Started’s third in four lifetime starts – pushed the filly’s bankroll to a hefty $70,300. She was second in the first leg of the series and captured Leg 2 in 1:56.3, setting a new track record at Scioto Downs on July 19 for her gender, gait and age.

“It’s great to have a two-year-old that has established new track records at both Scioto and Northfield,” Richard admitted.

Lets Get Started is the seventh of eight foals out of her dam, the SJs Photo mare Tori Ann, who the McClellands campaigned to $104,741 in earnings.

“Dick Rankin raced Tori Ann for us,” Richard explained. “She was a Pennsylvania-bred filly that I named after my granddaughter.”

Tori Ann took a mark of 1:57.2f and when she retired to the breeding shed in 2007, the McClellands decided to name every foal out of her after something to do with Richard’s mother.

“Tori Ann’s second foal (a daughter of Muscles Yankee) was named Shanty Irish,” Richard noted. “That was because my mother grew up in an area in Ireland where most of the people were quite poor and lived in shanties.”

Shanty Irish took a five-year-old mark of 1:55f en route to winning 11 races and $125,739. The McClellands then named her 2012 foal She Wore Red (by Yankee Glide) 4, 1:53.2f ($156,575), since Richard’s mother always dressed in red clothing.

Tori Ann’s 2013 foal – christened Milligan’s School 3, 1:53.2f ($490,226) – is a half-sister to Lets Get Started.

“My mother went to school for eight years in Ireland in a one-room school house,” Richard remembered. “And the school was named Milligan, so that’s how this colt got his name.”

And Lets Get Started?

“When my mother was 82, my wife Joyce gave her a diary, and the first thing my mother wrote in there was ‘I’m 82 years old, let’s get started,’” Richard said.

A new Northfield Park track record for two-year-old pacing fillies was established that same evening when the Brian Brown-conditioned Glorious Intent scored a 1:54 clocking in the final OHSS division. Owned and bred by the Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, Ohio, the daughter of No Pan Intended stopped the clock in 1:54for driver Chris Page.

Ohio Sires Stakes action will continue Tuesday, August 16 at Scioto Downs, with nine $40,000 divisions for two-year-old pacing and trotting colts and geldings. Post time for the card is 2 p.m. (ET).