01/16/2015 12:43AM

Harness: Aaron Merriman gets win 7,000 at Northfield

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JJ Zamaiko
Aaron Merriman driving Ali Rush for his 7,000th win.

Aaron Merriman scored the 7,000th win of his driving career while driving Ali Rush in Northfield Park’s 9th race on Thursday (January 15).  Ali Rush boldly left from the gate and led her competition from start to finish, winning by three quarters of a length in 1:56 3/5.    

Merriman, 36, keeps a torrid schedule, regularly competing at Northfield Park and The Meadows.  However, he also races at various other venues throughout the year.  In 2014 Merriman competed in 4,646 races, more than any other driver in North America. 

Merriman’s talents have been noticed on the national stage and he has competed against the best of the best in harness racing.  In 2014 Merriman found himself behind the starting gate of the Hambletonian, an elimination of the Little Brown Jug, the Kentucky Futurity, the Canadian Trotting Classic as well as a host of other Grand Circuit and major stake races. In August, Merriman became the youngest inductee into the Northfield Park Wall of Fame.

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 3/5 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 7,000 to choose from, Merriman says that he has no favorite win.

“It always feels great to win a race,” explained Merriman. “I really don’t have a favorite.  I have had the same elated feeling every time I have been to the winner’s circle.”   

Merriman started driving at the age of 21 and appreciates the successful 15-year career he has experienced so far; accomplishing the 7,000-win milestone and purse earnings approaching $40,000,000.

-edited release (Northfield)