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Leading Driver Aaron Merriman posted another big night at Northfield Park on Saturday (May 11) winning ten times on the 16-race program.   Merriman's monster night tied the Northfield harness racing record for the most wins on a single card. That record was set in 1999 by Walter Case Jr.   Aaron's triumphs were with The Lion Sleeps ($3.60) in race five, St Lads Maggie Mae ($3.60) in race six, Heythere Lisamarie ($2.10) in race seven, Designed To See ($8.60) in race eight, Nutmegs Yankee ($3.60) in race 10, It's Gest Me ($4.20) in race 11, Godiva Seelster ($7.00) in race 12, Red ($16.40) in race 13, Mayabelle ($3.40) in race 15 and Cookies Empire ($6.20) in race 16. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and is leading by more than 50 wins so far this year. Aaron has been driving since 1997 and has piloted 11,294 career wins and is approaching $75 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield Park's history.   Ayers Ratliff

Bully Pulpit captured the $16,000 harness racing Open Pace on Monday (May 6) in Northfield Park's 13th race. The 1:49.4 victory marks the first sub-1:50 race on a half-mile track this year. Brian Loney conditions the pacer for Bradley Schwartz of Chicago, IL. Aaron Merriman was in the bike for the winning drive. Bully Pulpit (Well Said-Cupcakesnwhipcream-Camluck) started from post eight. He was fifth through a brisk :26.2 opening quarter, then moved to second in the following panel and remained there through splits of :53.2 and 1:20.4. Merriman called upon Bully Pulpit in the stretch and he bested Southwind Amazon (Ronnie Wrenn Jr) by ½-length, stopping the timer at 1:49.4. Bully Pulpit and Southwind Amazon started the race tied at 1:50.1 for the fasted half-mile win this year. Monday's triumph increased Bully Pulpit's lifetime win tally to 19 and his earnings to $283,759. He returned $5.80 to win.   Jeffrey J. Zamaiko Ayers Ratliff

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman had a monster night on Saturday (May 4) at Northfield Park by posting eight wins on the 16-race program. Merriman's triumphs were with Island Of Rock ($3.40) in race two, Mildred's Button ($14.80) in race three, Sweet To See ($3.40) in race five, Touchamatic ($2.40) in race nine, Love Forbidden ($2.40) in race 10, Wendy's Girl ($4.40) in race 13, The Lion Sleeps ($3.80) in race 14 and My Caroline ($2.60) in race 15. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and is leading by over 50 wins so far this year. Merriman has been driving since 1997 and has since posted 11,266 career wins and is approaching $75 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield's history. The 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick-6) has accumulated a $20,232 carryover into Monday’s (May 6) program.  The Single Six offers a low 14 percent takeout rate and is offered nightly in race nine. The 20¢ wager is designed to offer handicappers large jackpots by carrying over 50 percent of its nightly pool until it is solved by a unique single ticket. Ayers Ratliff

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 1, 2019 -- New Evidence stalked Stride Of Pride from the pocket before using the Lightning Lane to perfection to complete the 6-1 upset in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows. Stride Of Pride had plenty of pace left turning for home but couldn't match the 27.3 final panel of New Evidence, who prevailed in 1:52.2 over a "good" surface for Aaron Merriman. Dapper Dude also shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Stride Of Pride saved show. Herman Hagerman trains the 6-year-old Western Terror-Bouncing Hanover gelding, who lifted his career earnings to $122,630, for Northwind Farm. With his place check, the 10-year-old Dapper Dude vaulted over $1.3 million in lifetime purses. Dave Palone, Mike Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. In other highlights of the racing week at The Meadows: Wind Of The North Survives Late Scare In $20,000 Trot Wind Of The North had things his way on the point but had to hold off a late charge from the pocket-sitting TSM Photo Bugger to capture Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. As TSM Photo Bugger closed in, Merriman asked the millionaire for more. The 9-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding responded, downing the challenger by a neck in 1:56.1 over a "good" surface, with Explosive Leggs third. Bill Bercury trains and owns Wind Of The North, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $1,063,508. Jim Pantaleano and Wilder each collected three wins on the 13-race card. White Metro Pulls Off 16-1 Shocker In Top Distaff Pace Dismissed at 16-1, White Metro followed the live cover of Bontz N, then roared past her in the lane to score in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Pace for Mike Wilder, trainer Randy Bendis and owner Tom Pollack. The 7-year-old daughter of Metropolitan-Bye Bye Peachy Pie triumphed in 1:54.3 over a "good" surface, 1-1/2 lengths better than Bontz N, who was returning from a 4-1/2-month layoff and suffered her first U.S. defeat in four domestic starts. A trapped-in Camera Lady shook loose late to claim show. White Metro has banked $347,716 in her career. Palone fashioned a triple on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman scored the 11,000th win of his driving career while driving Brooklynite in Northfield Park's 10th race on Wednesday (Jan. 16). Brooklynite started from the second tier, brushed boldly and the half to take the lead and never looked back, winning by 5¼-lengths in 1:52. Merriman, 40, keeps a torrid schedule, regularly competing at Northfield Park and The Meadows. However, he also races at various other venues throughout the year. Aaron is the reigning North American dash champion. In fact, last year he became the first driver in harness racing history to post multiple 1,000-win seasons. In 2013, Merriman became the youngest inductee into the Northfield Park Wall of Fame. He has won more races at Northfield than any other driver in the track's history. Last year, he broke the record for the most Northfield wins in a single season, posting 711 scores over the Flying Turns in 2018. Aaron's talents have also been noticed on the national stage. He was just voted Harness Racing's Driver of the Year for 2018 and will officially receive this award at the annual Dan Patch Awards Ceremony in Orlando, Florida in February. Merriman's richest win came in a $300,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Final aboard Palazzo Princess. Aaron's fastest win was race timed in 1:48.3 aboard Kanaris at Scioto Downs in September, 2014. Merriman remembers his first win as being aboard a pacing mare named Albert's Filly at Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio. Although there are 11,000 to choose from, Merriman says that he is definitely partial to his first, "It always feels great to win a race. I have had the same elated feeling every time I have been to the winner's circle," explained Merriman, "But that first one felt especially nice." Aaron has sat behind countless horses, but one sticks out to him above all others: "I will always feel indebted to Midnight Jewel. She made me look good every week and really helped my career blossom." Merriman started driving at the age of 21 and appreciates the successful 19-year career he has experienced so far; accomplishing the 11,000-win milestone and purse earnings in excess of $72,000,000. "I've had a great run for a long time and so many owners and trainers that have helped me," said Merriman. "There are a lot of people who work very hard every day to keep racing alive and well and I just feel fortunate to be part of it." Ayers Ratliff

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman won 1141 races in 2018 to post the second-highest single-season total of all-time.   As this is written (Sat 6 p.m.), the USTA computer has Merriman second in North America in 2019 with 11 wins.   Ahead of him is a driver who won 14 races at Dover Downs earlier this week ... Tim Tetrick, who is the only driver to have eclipsed the 1141 figure posted by Merriman last year, with 1189 in 2007!   ... If only the horses were that easy to handicap! ...   Jerry Connors Jr

Northfield, OH -- When Aaron Merriman scored his 1,000th victory of 2018 to be come the first harness racing driver to have multiple 1,000 seasons, who knew records would continue to fall. On Thursday (Dec. 27), Merriman became the winningest single season driver in the history of Northfield Park. Merriman scored his 707th victory of the year at the Home of the Flying Turns in Race 11 when he guided Gwally (David Russo) to victory. The previous record holder was Walter Case Jr., who had 706 victories in 2001. Merriman has been the leading driver at Northfield Park six times, and he is on track to lead the "Turns" again in 2018. "I wasn't aware of the number until a few days ago," chimed in Merriman. "It's been a magical year that I don't feel I can repeat. Thank you to Northfield Park for allowing me to call this home," he continued. Merriman put Gwally ($3.00) on the lead and never took his foot off of the gas pedal. He made the lead early and only had to deal with a slight challenge from Mesmerized who tired late in the stretch. It has been a spectacular season for Merriman who as of Thursday night has 1,127 victories in 2018 and $10,413,731 in the bank. Merriman was able to accomplish this feat in just under 5,000 drives this season. For Merriman who scored his 10,000th win in March, "winning never gets old." by Michael Carter, for Northfield Park

HARRISBURG, PA - Aaron Merriman, the first driver to win over 1000 races in two consecutive years and set to post the second-highest one-season victory total in North American history, has been selected as Driver of the Year in a vote among members of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's leading media group. Merriman is only 40 years old, but he is already a "veteran" of 20+ years of the sulky wars, learning from his father Lanny, mostly at Northfield Park near Cleveland. He had 182 winners in 2000, his first year of full-time exposure, but he has been gaining with every step, with 10,857 victories in the 21st century and 6926 visits to Victory Lane in the first nine years of the this decade. Merriman will post the second-highest win total for a driver in harness racing history, behind only Tim Tetrick's standard of 1189 in 2007; Aaron was at 1118 after Wednesday's racing. This total eclipses his personal best of 1093, taken last year, and this year he has reached another important milestone with his mounts earning over $10.3 million - his first eight-figure season. And the level of competition Aaron faces at the main terminals of his endless miles on the road is very high - at Northfield, he consistently races against Ron Wrenn Jr., who was the last person to dethrone him for the national title (2014, by a 847-841 count), and at The Meadows near Pittsburgh he competes against Dave Palone, the winningest driver of all-time (18,640 and counting), and the leading pilot at The Meadows since shortly after high-wheeled sulkies went out of fashion, so it seems. Reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA’s website, www.ushwa.org; a link to the hotel’s computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com (the 2018 journal is online at the writers’ website). Information about purchasing tickets for the dinner will become available and will be posted shortly. From the United States Harness Writers Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 8, 2018 -- Anythingforlove A opened up a 4-length lead at the three-quarters and cruised home to capture Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. After four consecutive pocket trips had produced seconds and thirds, Anythingforlove A took matters into his own hands by blasting to the front for Aaron Merriman and settling matters early. He scored in 1:53.1, 3/4 lengths better than the first-over Hawk's Red Chief, with Dapper Dude third. Bill Bercury trains the winner, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven-The Perfect Mona gelding who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Jim Pantaleano piloted four winners and Mike Wilder three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $1,875.60 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows        

NORTHFIELD, Ohio – He arrives in the paddock looking refreshed, like a man who has just showered and shaved. But harness racing driver Aaron Merriman is anything but refreshed. Coffee, poured into the to-go cup that he carries, contains enough caffeine to provide a sufficient short-term shot of alertness to get him through the second half of another of his endless runs of equine doubleheaders. Merriman is harness racing’s iron horse – one with prescriptions for migraine medication and appointments for acupuncture treatments. Despite the wear and tear on his 40-year-old body, Merriman has rewritten his sport’s record book. When he steered Zumba, an eight-year-old mare and a winner just once this season, to victory in Saturday’s 12th race at Northfield Park, it gave him 1,000 victories on the year. It made Merriman the first driver in harness history to twice win 1,000 races in a calendar year. Only three other drivers have accomplished the feat once, Walter Case (1,077 wins in 1988), Tony Morgan (1,004 in 2006) and all-time single season wins record-holder Tim Tetrick (1,189 in 2007). Merriman joined the exclusive club last year with 1,095 victories, yet swears he isn’t transfixed by victory totals, even though many observers believe he is, judging by his schedule. “This may sound funny,” said Merriman, about to conclude his 22nd year in the sulky, “but I really don’t pay that much attention to the numbers. This (the record) is like a bonus. I just drive.” And drive and drive. And then drive some more. Double time between suburban Cleveland and Pittsburgh For the better part of eight years, Merriman has been on a pari-mutuel merry-go-round. Four to five days a week, depending on race scheduling, he leaves his home that is a mile from Northfield Park at 10 a.m. and drives to The Meadows, a track outside of Pittsburgh which races in daytime. He competes in at least 10 races, then jumps back in his car and drives to Northfield, sometimes with little regard for the speed limit. A heavy foot applied to the gas pedal gives him a chance of driving in 10 to 12 races at the Rt. 8 oval. The 14-hour day with 270 miles on the road and another 20 on the track ends with his final race just before midnight. “I just love the action, even though my schedule takes a toll,” said Merriman. “I can stand in the paddock and feel like hell, but as soon as I get in the bike, I feel better. Some days I feel like I’m 20, but there are others when I feel much older. And, I like doubleheaders, driving day and night.” A crazy pace Merriman’s sulky brethren in the Northfield drivers’ room wonder out loud about him. Longtime rival Chris Page shakes his head when he ponders Merriman’s routine. “He’s sick,” said Page, only half-jokingly. “You have to be mentally sick to do what he does. I could not do all that back and forth, week in and week out.” Neither can Merriman’s automobiles. A lover of Cadillacs, he recently traded in his old one with 300,000 miles on it for a shiny new one. Speeding tickets are another expense. “Yeah, I’ve had some horrible years for tickets,” said Merriman. “It’s cost me hundreds, maybe thousands.” Merriman has been North America’s winningest driver the last three years and is a cinch for a fourth. He is 323 winners clear of current runner-up Ronnie Wrenn, a regular at Northfield and the last driver to finish in front of Merriman in 2014. “Take nothing away from him,” said Wrenn. “What he’s doing is incredibly hard to do and he comes in every night with a great attitude.” Paying winners, and paying off handsomely Merriman’s hard work is paying off handsomely on payday. Drivers earn five percent of the purse monies their mounts earn and through Nov. 22, Merriman’s drives have banked $9,344,489, making his share $467,722, his best ever financial year at the races. But it also can be dangerous work. He survived a horrific accident in June of 2010 at The Meadows where he was spilled out of the sulky and ended up with fractures in his neck, both wrists and an elbow. “Horses were running over me,” said Merriman. He was back on the track in four months, but now suffers with extreme migraines, which he said requires treatment with the medication Imitrex. He also says long, lukewarm showers offers relief. As for the aches and pains of driving 100 races a week, Merriman visits an acupuncturist. Before the year is out, Merriman will have driven in more than 4,500 races. Eeach race is a mile in distance, so his season in in the sulky will be long enough to have driven from Northfield Park to Honolulu. How long will Merriman maintain his hectic schedule? “I’m definitely tired, not of winning, just tired,” he said. “I’ve said before that I was going to quit doing this, but I keep going, so I’m not going to comment either way. Who knows what the future will hold?” By Bob Roberts, Special to The Plain Dealer Reprinted with permission of The Plain Dealer   David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer   Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman makes history with 1,000 wins   Posted on November 28, 2018 4:59 AM | Updated November 28, 2018 5:31 AM   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman takes a warmup lap while racing Norman Skidd Marks before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   3 / 30 Jeffrey J. Zamaiko/JJ Zamaiko Photos   Aaron Merriman wins 1,000th race in 2018   Aaron Merriman drives Zumba to victory at Northfield Park on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. It was Merriman's 1,000th win in 2018, and he became the first driver to reach that milestone twice. He also won 1,000 races in 2017. Jeffrey J. Zamaiko/JJ Zamaiko Photography, Inc.   4 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman stands next to Me The Boss after the conclusion of the sixth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   5 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman takes a warmup lap while racing Norman Skidd Marks before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)       6 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman glances up at a television screen while putting the final preparations on his uniform before his first race of the evening inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   7 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman reads the evenings racing program inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     8 / 30   Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman makes history with 1,000 wins   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman races with Conquer the Chance during the fourth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   9 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman texts on his cell phone inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   10 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman races with Me The Boss during the sixth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     11 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman takes a warmup lap while racing Norman Skidd Marks before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   12 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman smiles inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   13 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman poses for a portrait next to Norman Skidd Marks inside the paddock, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   14 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman smiles while entering the jockeys locker room after the conclusion of the fourth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   15 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman returns to the paddock area after the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     16 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman reads the evenings racing program inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   17 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: The racing uniform of harness racer Aaron Merriman sits inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     18 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman races behind Norman Skidd Marks before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   19 / 30     NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman stands next to Me The Boss after the conclusion of the sixth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   20 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman texts on his cell phone inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     21 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman takes a warmup lap while racing Norman Skidd Marks before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   22 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman reads the evenings racing program inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   23 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman adjust the fit of his uniform before his first race of the evening inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   24 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman rides behind Conquer the Chance before the start of the fourth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   25 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman smiles while talking with other jockeys inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)     26 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman rides to the track before the start of the seventh race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   27 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman poses for a portrait next to Norman Skidd Marks inside the paddock, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   28 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman walks back to the paddock area after the conclusion of the fourth race, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   29 / 30   NORTHFIELD, OHIO NOVEMBER 21, 2018: Harness racer Aaron Merriman adjusts the fit of his uniform before his first race of the evening inside the jockey's locker room, Wednesday November 21, 2018 at Northfield Park. (David Dermer/Special to the Plain Dealer)   30 / 30 Jeffrey J. Zamaiko/JJ Zamaiko Photos   Aaron Merriman, fourth from right, poses after driving Zumba to victory at Northfield Park on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. It was Merriman's 1,000th win in 2018, and he became the first driver to reach that milestone twice. He also won 1,000 races in 2017. From left, are trainer Brian Loney; groom Henry Hackmanan; Zumba; Tessa Koran; Kristopher Merriman, who is Aaron's son; driver Lanny Merriman, who is Aaron's father; Aaron Merriman, Tom Aldrich of Northfield Park and Wendy Ross of USTA. Jeffrey J. Zamaiko/JJ Zamaiko Photography, Inc.

Aaron Merriman became the first driver in the history of harness racing to achieve multiple 1,000-win seasons when he scored in the twelfth race on Saturday (November 24) at Northfield Park. The triumph was a gate-to-wire victory aboard Zumba in 1:57.3 over a sloppy surface. Harness Racing fans have been counting down Merriman's victories all over social media, tracking the well-traveled reinsman across the Midwest at racetracks near Cleveland, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Dayton, Ohio. Merriman raised his whip with elation as he crossed the wire to celebrate his historic achievement. "It was such a good feeling to do something that has never been done before," explained Merriman. "I definitely got caught up in the moment as I neared the wire and knew I had it won." Last year Merriman became only the fourth driver in harness racing history to score 1,000 wins in a single year, posting a total of 1,095 victories. It took him only a year to become the first ever to repeat that feat. "I love to win and I don't try to look much further ahead than the next race," said Merriman. "I figure that I will just win as many as I can for as long as I can and keep driving day-to-day." Merriman, now just 40, keeps a torrid schedule, driving in over 4,000 races during each of the last five seasons. "I'm definitely tired, not of winning, just tired," stated Merriman. "I don't know how long I can or will keep this schedule. But I am for now. Who knows what the future will hold?" by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 19, 2018 -- Wind Of The North survived a 27.3 opening quarter in the slop and collected his 14th win this year in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. After Aaron Merriman gave Wind Of The North a 30.3 second-panel breather, the 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding had enough in the tank to hold off the rallying Classic Banker by a head in 1:56.1. The pocket-sitting PL Jerico finished third. Bill Bercury trains and owns Wind Of The North, who now boasts 49 victories and $1,026,058 in earnings for his career. Elsewhere on the card, It's A Dew Thing lit up the tote board when he scored at 96-1 for Chris Shaw, trainer Norm Parker and owner Tom Klosky, Jr. The 5-year-old Western Ideal-Artbitration gelding returned $228 for a $2 win-place-show ticket and set up a double-carryover of $5,888.89 for Tuesday's Pick 5 and a $1,629.04 for Tuesday's first superfecta, currently scheduled for race 2. Mike Micallef, Jim Pantaleano and Merriman each piloted a pair of winners on the 13-race program. Big-score wagering opportunities will abound Tuesday at The Meadows, as the card features four carryovers. They include: Pick 5 (races 9-13), two-day carryover of $5,888.89. Pick 4 (races 4-7), $3,905.52. The Meadows, in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative, will guarantee this pool at $5,000 as it does for each Monday and Tuesday Pick 4. Superfecta (race 2), $1,639.04. Should a scratch or scratches leave the second race with fewer than eight wagering interests, the carryover will be applied to the first superfecta with at least eight wagering interests. Super Hi-5 (race 13), $670.20. First post Tuesday is 1:05 PM by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Harness racing driver Aaron Merriman had a big night at Northfield Park on Sunday (November 18) winning eight times on the 15-race program. Aaron's triumphs were with Moolah Begonia ($5.60) in race three, Maximus Deo ($2.40) in race four, Shock The Nation ($4.20) in race five, Sanattle Slew (DH) ($2.60) in race seven, Bold And Brave ($2.10) in race eight, Wendy's Girl ($3.60) in race 12, Shooby Said ($7.40) in race 14 and Copper Coast A ($7.00) in race 15. Merriman won his first race in 1998, a $2,200 conditioned event at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio, aboard Albert's Filly. Since breaking his maiden, Aaron has scored almost 10,800 more times with purse earnings approaching $71 million. Last year Merriman became only the fourth driver in harness racing history to score 1,000 wins in a single year, posting a total of 1,095 victories. No driver has ever achieved multiple 1,000-win seasons. However, Sunday's victories increased Aaron's 2018 win tally to 972. With 48 days remaining this year, harness fans' eyes are on Merriman while he etches his name his the record books becoming the first driver to have multiple 1,000-win seasons. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

DAYTON, OH. - North American dash champion Aaron Merriman made the most of his two victories at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night (Nov. 16) by winning both co-features-the $18,500 Open Trot and the $18,000 Mares Open Pace. In the trot, Merriman and Pine Dream turned the tables on Party At The Banks (Chris Page) by emerging from a cavalry charge to the finish line to get the nod by a scant 'head' margin. Optimist Blue Chip (Jeremy Smith), who cut the mile, was only beaten a 'neck' in third, while the remainder of the 10-horse field all finished within seven lengths of the winner. Merriman left enough from the 8-hole behind the gate to drop in fifth along the pylons in the early going. After reaching the quarter in :28 and the half in :56.3, Pine Dream was guided to the outer flow in second-over position. Merriman moved his mount to the third lane around the final bend and began his impressive assault on the leaders. With Party At The Banks-seeking her second straight open triumph and sixth overall--on his bumper the pair gradually passed Monopoly Blue Chip (Kayne Kauffman), Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) and Anna's Lucky Star (Mike Oosting) before emerging on the front end in the shadow of the wire. It was the 24th career win for Pine Dream in 101 starts and pushed the 6-year-old son of Pinetucky's lifetime bounty to $178,117. As the upset winner, Pine Dream paid $23.80 to win. Combined with Party At The Banks, the exacta returned a healthy $113.80. Kelly Chupp currently trains him for Chupp Racing Stable Inc. American Girl prevailed in the Open Pace for distaffers as a lukewarm 2-1 favorite, topping fast-closing favorite Rosemary Rose (Chris Page). Longshot E R Hilary (Lewayne Miller) went a game trip to garner the show money. Merriman made all the pace with American Girl, fronting the field through fractions of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:23.2 before sealing the deal in 1:51.3-the quickest of five winning miles this year for American Girl. The 9-year-old daughter of Art's Chip is narrowing in on the $1 million earnings plateau and lists 51 victories on her impressive resume. Tyler George has been training American Girl in recent years for the partnership of Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt. Racing resumes Saturday night (Nov. 17) at Hollywood Dayton with a strong card starting at 6:15 p.m. From Dayton Raceway Media Department    

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 12, 2018 -- Wind Of The North won a four-ply battle for the early lead, then held off the challengers late to prevail in Monday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, one of five victories for Aaron Merriman on the 13-race card. Merriman gave Wind Of The North a 29.1 breather after that spirited opening panel, enabling him to withstand the determined first-over bid of Classic Banker and down him by 1/2 length in 1:55. PL Jerico rallied for show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, an 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $1,016,258. Merriman, who added a pair of seconds and a fifth in his eight drives, also scored for trainers Sarah Andrews, Robert Barnard, Spencer Kahrig and Gerald Lee, Jr. Jim Pantaleano also enjoyed a big Monday with three wins. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a pair of carryovers -- $1,952,89 for the Pick 5 and $871.60 for the Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadowlands

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 5, 2018 -- Rising MVP pulled the pocket near the three-quarters, powered past the leader and coasted to a comfortable victory in Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Rising MVP was stalking Banker Volo when Aaron Merriman cut him loose. The 3-year-old My MVP-Nutmegs Winner gelding had little trouble negotiating the "good" surface, scoring in 1:55.1. Media Buzz was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Explosive Leggs third. Bill Daugherty, Jr. trains Rising MVP, who now boasts $181,762 in career earnings, for Susan Daugherty. Tony Hall, Dan Rawlings, Wilbur Yoder, trainer Rich Gillock, owner Bob Key and Merriman each enjoyed a double on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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