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Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $30,000 20¢ Super High Five total pool guarantee to its harness racing card on Monday (April 22). Offered in race 13, the $30,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $7,202. The Super High-5 is guaranteed as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. Monday's post time is 6 p.m. By Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

One lucky Northfield Park bettor in Canada solved the 20-cent Northfield Single Six with a single combination for a whopping $144,777.18 (Canadian) on Monday (April 15). The wager premiered on Oct. 13 and has become popular with punters chasing big scores. The unique combination Pick-6 offers a low 14 percent takeout rate and starts nightly in race nine. The 20-cent wager carries over 50 percent of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. The 20-cent wager is doing exactly what it was designed to do -- offer handicappers large jackpots.   Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $20,000 Super Hi-5 total pool guarantee to its harness racing card on Monday (March 25). The thirteenth race features the $20,000 20¢ Super Hi-5 guaranteed total pool, which includes a carryover of $6,780.58. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4's, Pick 3's and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. The evening's ninth race starts the 20¢ Northfield Single Six, which offers a $17,941.16 carryover. Monday's post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park has announced the dates of four Iron Maiden Late Closing Series. These series offer increased racing opportunities for younger horses to start their seasons. All of the late closers carry a condition of non-winners of one pari-mutuel race (Ohio breds n/w two) or non-winners of $7,500 lifetime (through 3/23/19). The series are divided into filly and mare pacers, colt and gelding pacers, filly and mare trotters, and colt and gelding trotters. However, the trotters will be combined if at least 12 horses do not pay into each event. A one-time $200 payment will be required of each entrant to be eligible. Payments are due by March 30. Each series consists of four $7,000 legs and a $20,000 final. Conditions for the series can be found at www.northfieldpark.com. Ayers Ratliff

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After enjoying a successful stint earlier this season at Northfield Park in Ohio, Noble Legend ($4.60) has come back home to Buffalo Raceway and hasn't forgotten where the winner's circle is.   Noble Legend and driver Billy Davis Jr. are currently making a weekly appointment with track photographer Steve Roth by notching another gate-to-wire win in the $12,000 Open Trot on Wednesday night (March 13). He beat Southern Palms by a comfortable half length in 2:00.4 over the good track, his second straight victory since returning.   In the $10,500 Class A Open Handicap Pace for the filly and mares, HP Sissy (Denny Bucceri) kept her sizzling campaign going with a front-running three-quarter length nod over Kaitlyn Rae in a seasonal best 1:58.1. In seven appearances this year, HP Sissy has four wins and three second place finishes.   Scoring from the five post, Noble Legend wasted no time in taking early command. Setting splits of :30.1, 1:00.4 and 1:31.2, the only worry Noble Legend faced down the lane was a late rally from Southern Palms (Shawn Gray) but he ran out of real estate. Are You In (Kevin Cummings) took the show spot.   Co-owned by the Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice, it was the fourth victory in nine attempts for Noble Legend (Kadabra-Lovin It). The 7-year-old gelding, trained by Maria Rice, has now produced $27,390 in earnings this year and $227,476 lifetime.   HP Sissy ($5.00) and Bucceri enjoyed the tour around the Hamburg half-mile oval. With fractions of :30.2, 1:00.2 and 1:29.1, a :29.0 final panel took the starch out of the attempted threats from the potential closers. Kaitlyn Rae (Drew Monti) was second and You Mach Me Crazy (Gray) rounded out the top three.   Owned by Finocchario's Dream Stable, HP Sissy (Up The Credit-Monica Blue Chip) is a 6-year-old mare that is conditioned by Mike Ohol. The win upped her bankroll to $26,513 and $282,149 in her career.   Ray Fisher Jr. and Gray each completed the night with triples with Davis Jr. and Monti getting doubles. Rice and James Clouser Jr. each conditioned two winners.   Racing will continue on Saturday evening with a 13-race card slated to begin at 6 p.m. The World Harness Handicapping Challenge qualifier will take place as well with a $10 entry fee. The winner will receive $500, two nights hotel accommodations and paid entry into the WHHC Tournament at The Meadowlands on Saturday, April 6 while the second place finisher will get $250 and third place $100.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

The Brian Loney harness racing stable sent nine horses to post on Monday (Feb 18) at Northfield Park. Those nine starters resulted in seven trips to the Winner's Circle. Loney's triumphs were with Always'syourway ($4.60) in race three, Twin B Stingray ($14.60) in race four, Montana Pablo A ($5.20) in race six, Bully Pulpit ($5.00) in race nine, Dante Ivy ($5.80) in race 10, Man He Can Skoot ($7.60) in race 11 and Hunch Man ($3.00) in race 14. Loney won his first race in 1996, a $3,000 claiming race at Fairmount Park with Stealth Fighter for a purse of $1,600. Since breaking his maiden, Brian has won nearly 1,800 more times with purse earnings in excess of $6 million.  

Amora Beach, a winner of its last nine harness races, will try to push his streak to double digits on Monday night, February 11, at Northfield Park.   The seven-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line from post #3 in the 13th race, a $13,000 Open 2 Pace.   Amora Beach started his winning ways in the $6,000 claiming ranks back on December 9. He has been claimed seven times in his last 10 starts and has had seven different trainers during that stretch.   Current owners L'Emmur Stable, LLC of Hudson, OH and James Ryan of Warren, OH plucked him out of a $10,000 claimer when he tallied his 7th straight victory on January 21. Keith Kash, Jr. has trained and driven the streaking pacer to triumphs in the $15,000 and $20,000 claiming ranks in the past two weeks to make it nine in a row in O-HI-O. Monday night he will race in the Open ranks for the first time in his career.   Amora Beach did race in major stakes company as a two-year-old, finishing fourth in his elimination and eighth in the $613,640 Metro Final to Artspeak at Mohawk in 2014. He also finished third in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes leg at Pocono in 2015.   Northfield Park is announcing the addition of multiple total pool guarantees to its card on Monday (Feb. 11). The Pick-5 in Race two, will feature a $10,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $2,564. The early Pick-4 beginning in Race seven will feature a $35,000 guaranteed total pool, which includes a carryover of $12,214. The Super High-5, offered in Race 13, will also feature a $35,000 total pool guarantee which includes a carryover of $11,805. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4's, Pick-3's, and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced takeout of just 14 percent. Monday's post time is 6:00 p.m.   by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Harness racing driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. made his 5,000th trip to the winner's circle after winning with Body Of Work in Northfield Park's 3rd race on Wednesday (Feb. 6). Body Of Work won by a full-length and was heavily favored, returning $2.60 to win. The 2:00.1 clocking was the 11th career score for the six-year-old trotter, who now has $133,763 in earnings. The 32-year-old Wrenn began driving in 2008. His 5,000 wins have helped him garner almost $31.5 million in purse earnings. Wrenn is consistently among the top drivers in the country. He won the 2013 and 2014 national dash driving titles, finished third in 2015 and 2016, fifth in 2017 and second in 2018. Wrenn is a 2005 graduate of Hartland High School in Hartland, Mich. He played center field for and graduated from Mott Community College in Flint. Although Wrenn comes from a racing family, he did not take an interest and become involved with horses at an early age. "I was 19 or 20 when I jogged my first horse. I was always really busy with sports and stuff," said Wrenn. "I didn't really have time for it." However, after weighing his options and slowly becoming more interested with the family business, Ronnie decided on a career in racing. "I was just sitting at the table working on stuff from school on my computer one night and looked up and told my dad I wanted to be a driver. He looked at me like I was crazy. But I was old enough that he really didn't have a lot of say, and so far it has all worked out pretty well." Wrenn earned his first win behind Artful Power in a $1,400 Billings race at a Michigan fair. "It was hard breaking in at first. I guess I got lucky to be put on some good horses and things just took off," offered Wrenn. "My parents and grandparents really helped me a lot as well as countless other people." Wrenn's fastest win ever came in the 2015 $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs with Doo Wop Hanover in 1:49.2, and his richest being a $275,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Championship. Wrenn rates the best horses he has ever driven as Arch Madness, Betterluvnexttime, Doo Wop Hanover, Luck Be Withyou, Night Pro, Southwind Amazon and Victory Is Coming. Ronnie's favorite horse to drive is Southwind Amazon, who was harness racing's winningest horse last year, posting 22 victories in 38 starts. Wrenn says his ultimate dream race to win would be the Little Brown Jug, "But I would take the feature races at Northfield too. I am a big fan of the Battle of Lake Erie and the Carl Milstein Memorial." "There are many owners and trainers that have given me opportunities and I will be forever grateful to them," offered Wrenn. "To win races, a driver has to drive fast horses for talented trainers with good owners." Wrenn loves driving horses and would not trade jobs with anyone. When not driving, Ronnie enjoys golfing and working-out when he is not spending quality time with his wife Briana and their four month-old son Easton. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Amora Beach paced home for his ninth straight win Monday (February 4) in Northfield Park's seventh race. The seven year-old harness racing gelding is owned by L'Emmur Stable and James Ryan. Keith Kash Jr is his trainer and was aboard for the winning drive. The nine consecutive victories have included an impressive run up the claiming ladder for seven different trainers. Amora Beach's current win-streak began with four wins in $6,000 claiming races, two victories in $8,000 claimers, and scores for claiming prices of $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000. Amora Beach started from the rail and led at every call through fractions of :28.1, :57.3, 1:26.1 and 1:55, winning by ¾-length. Monday's triumph increased Amora Beach's (Somebeachsomewhere-Amora Hanover-Western Ideal) lifetime win-total to 23 and earnings to $192,737. He returned $5.20 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

As the time for stakes nominations for 2019 nears, Northfield Park reminds the connections of top Open Pacers, Open Trotters and Three-Year-Old Pacers that the track's richest three Grand Circuit events in 2019 will all be "By-Invitation-Only". The $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie (Open Pace) on June 8 -- the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic (Open Trot) on June 29 -- and the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial (3YO Pace) on August 10 will all be Invitationals with no nomination or starting fees for the participants. Northfield's Executive Vice President of Racing Dave Bianconi adopted the change for this year's Battle and Trotting Classic (the Milstein Memorial has already been an Invitational for the past few seasons) with the following reasoning, "I simply think that Invitationals are the way that Northfield can attract the best eight horses for each of these great events. When you are handcuffed with only the horses that paid into your stakes races as possible starters, you can often miss a late-bloomer who gets hot leading up to your race. "It isn't uncommon for connections of good horses miss a payment deadline early in the year," Bianconi added. "and then find themselves on the outside looking in come race time. Also, with state-bred Sires Stakes programs across the country so economical to enter and so lucrative to participate in, it has become more difficult to get young horses to stake to numerous Grand Circuit events. That led to the change when the Carl Milstein Memorial became an Invitational, and we have had some great fields for that race since the change. I want that same flexibility for our Open events (The Battle of Lake Erie and Cleveland Trotting Classic)". While Northfield will be actively recruiting the top horses for these races as the year goes on, Bianconi encourages the connections of horses that are interested in participating to reach out to him as well. "I'd love to hear from owners or trainers who think their horse would fit in well in any of our big events. I like to invite horses from different circuits across North America to meet here at Northfield, which is an easy ship from just about anywhere. Please feel free to email me at dbianconi@northfieldpark.com or call me in the race office at 330-467-4101 ext. 2300." Northfield's feature event for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $125,000 Courageous Lady on October 12, will remain a stakes event overseen by the Hambletonian Society. "The Courageous Lady is late in the year after everyone's Sires Stakes have been completed, so it has been successful as a paid-in event. I'm leaving it alone for now." explained Bianconi. by Aryes Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Trenton, NJ — For harness racing driver Dakota Jackson, ignorance may not have been bliss, but it sure was advantageous. On Nov. 21, the 20-year-old recorded his first driving win when he guided Dontcallme Dude to victory at Ohio’s Northfield Park. What Jackson did not know when the race started, is that his horse went off at odds of 6-5, making him the favorite for the first time in his young career. “If I knew I was the favorite, I probably would have found some way to mess up the race and mess up my drive,” Jackson said with a laugh. “I thought I expected to be maybe third or fourth choice. I didn’t expect to be 6-5 and have everybody putting their money on me.” Sitting in third after the opening quarter-mile, Jackson decided to make his move.   Dakota Jackson recorded his first driving win when he guided Dontcallme Dude to victory on Nov. 21 at Northfield Park. JJ Zamaiko photo.   “I was kind of hesitant to pull,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to pull this horse too early and I’m going to get beat.’ I looked over and thought ‘If I don’t get out now I don’t know if I’ll ever get out.’ At about the half-mile pole I kicked the plugs on him and going past the paddock, my dad and my brother and everyone was standing there, and I just let out the biggest holler I could let off. As soon as I did that the horse pinned his ears back and just went. It was exciting.” Dontcallme Dude won by 3-1/2 lengths, leading to a feeling Jackson never had before. “When I came across the line I was shaking,” Jackson said. “I didn’t really think I had it won. I could still hear everyone behind me so I wasn’t going to count it until I got across the line. When I did I thought ‘Aw gee, this is nice.’” Jackson has not won since then, although he has barely raced since he does not have winter colors. He is anxiously awaiting the start of the season while he works as a trainer for James Stiltner in Ohio. Dakota and his twin brother, Zachary, have wanted to drive and train ever since they were boys growing up in Monroe, Mich. Their parents, Kelly and Charles, met at the Indiana State fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Charles is also in the business, which is one of the reasons he wanted his boys to stay out of it. “My dad wanted me and my brother to go into the military,” Jackson said. “He knew how hard it was. He wanted us boys to have good financial stability. My mom was kind of a little hesitant, but if we wanted to drive or train horses or be a blacksmith, my mom was always kind of ‘Go ahead do what you want, I’ll be supporting you the whole way.’” Pretty much everyone in Monroe who knew the Jackson twins knew where their hearts lied. “A lot of people will tell you, when Raceway Park was opening up, every morning and every afternoon before the races, me and my brother would actually hook race bikes to the fence at Raceway Park and we’d actually pretend we were driving,” Dakota said. “We kind of had a gist that we wanted to be drivers and trainers for a long time.” Jackson jogged his first horse at age 6 and trained his first at age 12. “My dad was jogging one on the track, he told me not to go do it; I went ahead and did it anyway,” he said. “It was at the Red Mile where I trained my first horse. We didn’t go very fast, it was like 2:45 or something.” At age 12, the boys moved with their mom to Mentor On The Lake, Ohio, a town on Lake Erie just northeast of Cleveland. Jackson continued to learn the business and at age 18 he got his driving license. He also bought his first horse — which he still owns — an 11-year-old by the name of Milliondollardad. He purchased him for $2,500 from David McNeight III and feels it was a successful purchase despite limited monetary success. “He hasn’t made me a whole lot of money but he’s taught me how to drive, he’s taught me patience and taught me a lot of respect for a horse,” Jackson said. “I would never have had the chance to even start driving without him. I owe big things to Davey McNeight and that horse.” Asked how the horse helped him so much, Jackson said Milliondollardad did things he never thought a horse could teach a person. “At first a lot of people said he was dangerous,” Dakota said. “In my eyes he was never really dangerous. He was more or less a real finicky horse. You can’t fight with him, you can’t be hard on his mouth. You’ve got to learn patience with him, you’ve got to do it his way. You’ve got to work with him instead of against him. “Me being 18 years old, I was eager to drive, I wanted to have a horse with a lot of gate speed. He could leave a little but he could never really leave a whole bunch. The guys here (at Northfield) are seasoned drivers, they want you to earn your respect as much as they want to give you your respect. So I kind of got stuck toward the back a little bit and picked up a lot of thirds, fourths and fifths with him. Aaron Merriman drove him on Jug Week in Delaware. He ended up fifth. That was my first Jug Week as a trainer so the horse raced huge, I thought.” With the support of his girlfriend, Lexi Chadbourne, Jackson plans on claiming a horse or two, and also wants to start driving Milliondollardad more frequently. “Lexi really gives me confidence,” Dakota said. “She has a horse too and I drove her horse (Three New Dawns). She does a lot for me when it comes to getting confidence. If I have a bad race, she’ll still come up and tell me ‘Hey, you drove him fine.’” While he is both a trainer and driver, Jackson’s ultimate goal is to be a catch driver. “I want to have a couple horses on my own and I want to be able to catch drive for other people,” he said. “I’m just not getting a lot of chances. But my mom said ‘Sooner or later it will come, you’ve just got to wait.’” Jackson is willing to wait for as long as it takes, considering he never wanted anything else. “My sister, Hillary Miller, will tell you she doesn’t know why we want to do it, she just knows we want to do it and she’ll support us 100 percent,” Jackson said. “My brother and I have always wanted to be in this business our whole life. There was never a question about it.” by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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

A suspect is facing charges after releasing more than a dozen harness racing horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds. More than a dozen racehorses roamed the city’s west side early Monday morning after a man let the animals out of a barn at the Stark County Fairgrounds, police said. One of the horses later died after falling into the icy water at Meyers Lake. Canton Township firefighters tried to rescue the animal, but it drowned before it could be reached. Police and firefighters from several area departments, assisted by volunteers, managed to round up 14 other horses that were released and wandering area streets. Horses let loose from Stark County Fairgrounds, roam through Canton Dale Klick, president of the Stark County Agricultural Society, which operates the fairgrounds, said the 14 horses were returned to the barn and were seen by a veterinarian. Area trainers and owners board horses at the fairgrounds and use the track for training. The animals released Monday morning are harness racing horses that run at Northfield Park. Police arrested Jonathan D. Ford, 28, who formerly lived in Canton and now has a Mansfield address, on charges of breaking and entering, disrupting public service, inducing panic and possession of drugs. Police said Ford had two different types of marijuana when he was apprehended. He was taken to the Stark County Jail. Canton police haven’t determined why Ford released the horses, said Lt. Dennis Garren, public information officer. Police were called to the fairgrounds just before 5:30 p.m. and told the horses had been released. Ford was still on the property. Responding officers said Ford told them the horses wanted or needed to be freed. The horses ran through the neighborhood, police said. Officers and firefighters worked to keep the animals away from main streets, according to police reports. Perry Township police and firefighters and Canton Township firefighters helped with the effort. According to police, it took nearly two hours to get back to the barn. ShaneandRachel Taylor I took this video about 6am heading east on 12th to 13th St.. Just past Myers Lake. Did not want to turn light on camera. They already seemed pretty spooked. Facebook. Commented on The Canton Repository / CantonRep.com's public post Canton Township Fire Department’s water rescue team was called around 7:30 a.m. when a resident reported seeing an animal struggling in Meyers Lake. Firefighters arrived to find the horse swimming about 100 yards off shore. Assistant Chief Rick Morabito said thick ice near the shore made it difficult for the rescue team to get into the water quickly. The horse was treading and moving farther from shore as the rescue team reached open water. Morabito said the team was about 20 yards away when the animal went under. By Edd Pritchard  Reprinted with permission of the GateHouse Media Ohio  Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com On Twitter: @epritchardREP

Northfield Park, Ohio's premier racetrack in pari-mutuel handle, both on-track and export, is offering live harness racing four nights a week to start the 2018 racing year. January through June racing is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The exceptions to this schedule are the additions of Friday, January 4 and Sunday, May 26. There is no live racing on Memorial Day Monday. Beginning in July Northfield replaces Tuesday with Friday evenings and continues with a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday schedule through September. The exception to this schedule is the addition of Sunday September 1 due to no racing on Labor Day Monday. In October Northfield drops Fridays and adds both Sunday and Tuesday racing and will race five nights a week until the end of the ear. Thursday (December 26) will replace Christmas Eve Tuesday, while Friday (December 27) will replace racing on Christmas Wednesday. Northfield Park's marquee racing events are as follows: $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie Saturday, June 8; $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic Saturday, June 29; $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial and $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace Saturday, August 10; and $125,000 Courageous Lady Saturday, October 12. Northfield's Flying Turns will host eight $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championships on Sunday, September 1 for the $2.4 million Ohio Super Night. The $125,000 (est.) Summit County Fair Stakes, featuring many of Ohio's top freshman and sophomore trotters and pacers, will be held on Friday, July 26. Each of the 221 live racing nights carries a first race post time of 6:00 p.m. Northfield Park is open daily from noon until after midnight for simulcasting action from tracks across North America and Australia. Ayers Ratliff

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

Southwind Amazon posted his 21st win of the season at Northfield Park on Monday (December 17) capturing the evening's 13th race. His win tally ranks Southwind Amazon as the winningest harness racing horse in North America so far in 2018. Southwind Amazon's 21 wins this year have come from 37 starts. He has also finished second and third each five times, an impressive feat for a horse generally assigned the outside against Open company on a ½-mile track. The eight year-old gelding began Monday's victorious journey from the outside and led his competition at every call through fractions of :26.1, :55.3, 1:23.1 and 1:52, besting his competition by 2-lengths. Southwind Amazon (Camluck - Artoonist - Artsplace) is owned by Ameer Najor of Bloomfield, Michigan and is trained by Paul Holzman. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive. Ayers Ratliff

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