Merriman takes lead in Northfield's dash chase
September 26, 2012
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Aaron Merriman has been feverishly winning races and has taken the lead in the 2012 Northfield Park 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 and is in search of his eighth career driving title. He won three driving titles at Raceway Park in Toledo and four previous titles at Northfield Park.
Like many local drivers,Merriman has been splitting his driving among several different places. He has been a regular at Northfield Park and The Meadows. He has also been to various other racing surfaces to drive in stakes races.
Merriman's 2012 total victory tally is 428, which ties him with Dan Noble for fifth nationally for the most wins. Only Dave Palone (543), Tim Tetrick (528), George Napolitano Jr. (471) and George Brennan (471) have won more races this year in North America.
Merriman began driving in 1997 and has won 5,379 races and purses of $25,754,139.
He remembers his first win aboard a pacing mare named Albert's Filly at Raceway Park in Toledo. Although there are more than 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 Sires Stakes final aboard Palazzo Princess. His fastest win was race timed in 1:50. He rates the toughest horse he has ever driven as Midnight Jewel.
Also, 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,stated that he will return to Northfield Park to compete this winter. (Northfield Park)