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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Merriman Takes Lead in Northfield Park Driver Standings

Aaron Merriman has been feverishly winning races and has taken the lead in the 2012 Driver Standings.  Merriman has 223 victories over Northfield’s Flying Turns so far this year.  Ryan Stahl (218), Kurt Sugg (134), Wyatt Irvine (124) and Robin Miller (123) round out the top five reinsmen. 

The 34-year-old Merriman is a resident of Northfield, Ohio and is in search of his eighth career driving title.  Aaron won three driving titles at Raceway Park in Toledo and four previous titles at Northfield Park. 

Like many local drivers, Aaron Merriman has been splitting his driving among several different places.  Merriman has been a regular at Northfield Park and The Meadows.  He has also been to various other racing surfaces to drive in stakes races.   

Aaron’s 2012 total victory tally is 427, which ranks him 5th nationally for the most wins.  Only David Palone (543), Tim Tetrick (528), George Napolitano Jr (467) and George Brennan (466) have won more races this year.   

Merriman began driving in 1997 and has won 5,378 races and purses of $25,751,643.  Merriman remembers his first win aboard a pacing mare named Albert’s Filly at Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio. Although there are over 5,000 to choose from, Merriman says that he has no favorite win. “They all feel the same,” explained Merriman. “The winner’s circle is always happy and you never get tired of making people happy.”   

Merriman’s richest win ever came in a $300,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Final aboard Palazzo Princess. His fastest win was race timed in 1:50.0. He rates the toughest horse he has ever driven as Midnight Jewel.

New Faces at Northfield

Several new faces who have shown up to drive over Northfield Park’s Flying Turns are making a quick impact.  Michiganders Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Jason Merriman have begun piloting at Northfield.  Robert Dinning now calls Cleveland home, while Greg Grismore has returned to drive on Saturdays. In addition, Tyler Smith, in an interview during Little Brown Jug week in Delaware, Ohio stated that he will return to Northfield Park to compete this winter.

Promotional Potpourri

Northfield Park continues to offer promotions to spark fan interest in receiving the biggest bang for their handicapping bucks. 
  • The Belmont Park Handicapping Contest continues every Sunday thru October 21.  The contest is free to enter and offers $900 in weekly cash prizes. The $5,000 Championship Final is scheduled for Sunday, October 28.
  • Every Monday and Tuesday Northfield offers a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool.
  • Every Tuesday, beginning October 9, all Players Club Members will receive a free $5 Match Play from 1-3 pm. In addition, Northfield will open at 12 noon for simulcast action each and every Tuesday for the remainder of 2012.
  • Every Thursday beginning October 4, it’s Free Voucher Thursdays. Players Club Members can register for the chance to win a $25 voucher. Drawings will be held every 15 minutes from 1 to 4 pm.
  • Every Friday in October is Freebie Friday. All guests receive Free Admission and Free Parking all day and night, as well as $1 Live Programs and $1 12 oz. drafts.
  • Don’t miss the special Ohio Lottery Spin and Win promotion on Friday, October 5. All guests between 6 and 8 pm receive one free Ohio Lottery envelope. Inside each envelope is an Ohio Lottery coupon good for an Ohio Lottery Instant Ticket. Northfield Park is fast becoming the lucky place for Ohio Lottery winners. On Saturday, September 15, a $ 1,000,000 Powerball ticket was sold at Northfield Park, joining a previous $10,000,000 winning Super Lotto ticket sold at the track in 1998.
  • Northfield’s Pick-3, Pick-4 and Pick-5 offer a reduced takeout rate of 14%, the lowest in harness racing.