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Harness racing driver Ryan Stahl scored the 4,000th win of his career aboard This Baby Rocks in Northfield Park's sixth race on Monday (March 20) by firing off the gate and fending off all challengers. This Baby Rocks maintained a nose advantage over his closest rival at the wire, successfully pacing his mile in 1:54.2. Stahl's richest win came in a $100,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Final and he has won six Sire Stakes Finals. The native of Republic, Ohio rates the most exciting horse he has ever driven as being Hypnotic Blue Chip, in the 2011 Battle of Lake Erie. "It was an honor to drive a world-class horse like him," said Stahl. The 39-year-old Stahl remembers his first win as being aboard a trotting filly named Lojos Sharp Baby, at the Oak Harbor (Ohio) Fairgrounds. "That win came about a week after I got my license," Stahl recalled. With 4,000 to choose from, Stahl says that his most memorable win came aboard Podges Lady, in the 2012 edition of the Courageous Lady. "It is a signature race here at Northfield and it really meant a lot," offered Stahl. Ryan started driving at the age of 14 and appreciates his success so far; accomplishing the 4,000-win milestone and having driven the winners of nearly $15.5 million. Stahl has been married for almost two years to Nichole. The couple has two children, a son Owen, and daughter Sonny. The family resides on an 80-acre farm in Republic, Ohio and trains a stable of 12 horses. "Nichole is simply the best and does so much to keep our family, horses and farm going," explained Stahl. "I am only able to come to the track and drive on a nightly basis because of what she does to manage everything with our stable and family."   $9,381.52 Carryover Sparks $40,000 Guaranteed Pick-4 Total Pool Tuesday at Northfield Park Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $40,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee on Tuesday (March 21st).  Beginning in Race 8, the $40,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $9,381.52.  This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Tuesday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff  

Longshot harness racing bettors were ecstatic while the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's 10th race on Tuesday (January 17) when #8 Arrow rocketed from the back to win at odds of 60-1. Growth Opportunities, LLC of North Canton, Ohio owns the five year-old pacer. Dean Santantonio trains Arrow and called upon Sam Schillaci for the winning drive. Tuesday's triumph was Arrow's first win this year in three starts and represents his eighth lifetime score. Arrow was followed across the wire by #6 Village Jackson (2-1), #2 Battle Call (2-1) and #4 Moreland Flash (50-1). Arrow returned $123.00 to win; the 8-6 Exacta paid $502.00; the 8-6-2 Trifecta returned $1,831.60; and the 8-6-2-4 20¢ Superfecta paid $695.65. Arrow's win came as the third leg of the evening's $1 Pick 4 which returned a whopping $13,854.50. Although his horse was scratched from race 10 and did not compete against the evening's richest winner, driver Jason Merriman made six trips to the winner's circle on Tuesday's 15-race program. Jason 's triumphs were with Lion Image ($17.20) in race one, Talladega Hanover ($5.80) in race three, Urlacker ($18.80) in race five, Wheres The Clicker ($6.60) in race seven, High Blue ($10.60) in race nine and Albert A' Scootin ($12.20) in race 13. Merriman won his first race in 2003, a $4,900 condition event in 1:59.3, at Pompano Park aboard I C U Talkin. Since breaking his maiden, Jason has scored 2,236 more times with purse earnings approaching $11 million. Ayers Ratlif

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $25,000 Super High Five total pool guarantee on Monday harness racing program (January 16th). Offered in Race 13, the $25,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,847.88. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Monday's post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratlif

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $50,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Saturday (January 14th). Beginning in Race 3, the $50,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $15,549.31. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3's offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Saturday's post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Harness racing longshot players were celebrating after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's seventh race on Tuesday (January 10) when #6 Son Ofa Spur swooped from the back to win at odds of 49-1. Colt N Filly Stable of Medina, Ohio owns the 12 year-old trotter. Kurt Sugg trains Son Ofa Spur and was aboard for the winning drive. Tuesday's triumph was Son Ofa Spur's first win this year in two starts and represents his 40th lifetime score. Son Ofa Spur was followed across the wire by #1 Bad Cantab (9-5), #2 Wind Surfer (1-1) and #5 Naughty Not Nice (7-1). Son Ofa Spur returned $100.40 to win; the 6-1 Exacta paid $411.60; the 6-1-2 Trifecta returned $1,784.00; and the 6-1-2-5 20¢ Superfecta paid $407.70. Ayers Ratlif

Ronnie Wrenn Jr. again topped the local driving ranks in 2016, winning 612 races over the Flying Turns. His nearest competitor, Aaron Merriman, drove 533 winners. Kurt Sugg (305), Jason Merriman (291) and Ryan Stahl (275) completed the top five reinsmen. Wrenn, 30, resides in Stow, Ohio and now has five driving titles under his belt. He won the dash titles at Northfield Park in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also won the Northville Downs title in 2013. Ronnie's 2016 total victory tally was 690, which ranked him second among all drivers in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (891) had more total wins in 2016 than Wrenn. Wrenn began driving in 2008 and has since won 3,658 races and purses in excess of $19 million. Wrenn's fasted win ever came in the 2015 edition of the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs aboard Doo Wop Hanover in 1:49.2. His richest was with Whataboy in last year's $250,000 Ohio Sires Stake Final for sophomore colt pacers at Northfield Park in 1:51.3. Northfield Park's 2016 leading trainer Brian Loney won 30 more races than any other local conditioner. He garnered 136 victories throughout last year. Michael Dowdall finished second with 106 wins. Sam Schillaci (105), Jessica Millner (85) and Sue Stockwell (69) rounded out the top five Northfield Park trainers for 2016. Brian, originally from Hager Hill, Kentucky, now lives in Northfield, Ohio. He and wife Harla Renae have three children: 16 year-old son Gannun, 12 year-old son Payton and seven year-old daughter Polly. Loney, 38, scored his first training win with the gelding pacer Stealth Fighter at Fairmount Park in 1996. To date, he has 1,476 career victories and purse earnings over $4 million. The 2016 Northfield title is the fifth local dash victory for Brian. He has also won titles at Bluegrass Downs, Fairmount Park, The Red Mile and Thunder Ridge. Wrenn and Loney will each be presented with a plaque and dining gift certificate to the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in a winner's circle ceremony later in January. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Aaron Merriman is harness racing's dash winning driver for both 2015 and 2016. Flipping the calendar to 2017 has not changed his winning ways. In fact, Merriman won eight races on Sunday (January 1) at Northfield Park. Aaron's triumphs were with King Muscles ($2.40) in race 1, Jude Hall ($2.60) in race three, Ewald Hanover ($3.60) in race five, Beauty Chip ($2.20) in race six, Stevie Diamonds ($3.20) in race eight, Doc Betts' Buckeye ($2.40) in race 10, SR Radar ($3.00) in race 12 and Avanza ($2.60) in race 14. Merriman won his first race in 1998, a $2,200 condition event in 1:58.3, at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio aboard Albert's Filly. Since breaking his maiden, Aaron has scored 8,737 more times with purse earnings approaching $53 million. Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $30,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee on Sunday (January 1st). Beginning in Race 8, the $30,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $7,070.82. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3's offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Sunday's post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff  

Northfield Park, Ohio's leading racetrack in pari-mutuel handle, both on-track and export, is offering live harness racing four nights a week to start the 2017 racing year. January through September racing is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The exceptions to this schedule are the addition of three Sundays, January 1, May 28 and September 3. There is no live racing on Memorial Day or Labor Day Mondays. Beginning in October Northfield adds Sunday evenings and will race five nights a week until the end of the ear. Friday (December 22) will replace Christmas Eve Sunday, while Friday (December 29) will replace racing on Christmas Monday. Northfield Park's marquee racing events are as follows: $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie Saturday, June 3; $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic Saturday, July 1; $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial and $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace Saturday, August 12; and $125,000 Courageous Lady Saturday, October 14. The $125,000 (est.) Summit County Fair Stakes, featuring many of Ohio's best freshman and sophomore trotters and pacers, will be held on Saturday, July 29. Each of the 222 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 the United States, Canada and Australia. .................................................... Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $12,500 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Friday (December 30th).  Beginning in Race 3, the $12,500 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $2,353.29.  This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Friday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff

The festive and well-attended harness racing evening was made even better for Thomas Dillon, when his horse, Rock Me Baby, won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park. The Courageous Lady was a series of firsts for Rock Me Baby. It was the first time she had raced for Dillon. He purchased her just two weeks ago for $82,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. It was also Rock Me Baby's first start for trainer Heidi Rohr and the first time that Tim Tetrick has driven the filly. Rock Me Baby left off the gate. She initially sat in third, but was sent to the outside approaching the quarter. Once she made the lead about the quarter-pole, Rock Me Baby never experienced an anxious moment the remainder of the mile. She posted fractions of: 26.4, 54.4, 1:23 and 1:52. "We had to go a pretty big first half," explained Tetrick,"but I was able to give her a breather around the turn and she was really strong to the finish." The clocking was a stakes record for the Courageous Lady and equaled Northfield Park's track record for sophomore filly pacers. "I was happy to get to drive her," said Tetrick. "When they called me to ask if I would come here (Northfield), I was like absolutely!" "I love traveling around to these big races offered at places like Northfield and being able to compete with nice horses. I'm just glad to be a part of all this." Completing the field were Mother Of Art, LA Delight, Yankee Moonshine, Dime A Dance, Bellatricks, Free Show and Time On My Hands. Rock Me Baby (Rock N Roll Heaven-Lover Of Art-Artsplace) now has four wins in 21 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $164,228. She returned $5.40 to win. Ayers Ratliff

The $120,000 Courageous Lady goes postward this Saturday evening (November 26) at Northfield Park. The Grand Circuit race is an open harness racing event for North America's top 3-year-old filly pacers and once again has attracted an impressive slate of talent. This year's Jugette winner, LA Delight, will start from post eight and has been named the 5-2 early favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. A Courageous Lady victory would push LA Delight's earnings in excess of $1.2 million. The Robert McIntosh trainee has posted nine victories this year, including a 1:49.1 win at The Meadows Racetrack. McIntosh, a 2003 inductee into Harness Racing's Hall of Fame, has called upon fellow HOF member, John Campbell, to drive. The morning line second choice, Rock Me Baby, has drawn post five for trainer Heidi Rohr. She enters this event off an impressive 1:52.4 qualifier at Saratoga Raceway where she bested her competition by seven lengths. Tim Tetrick has been named to pilot Rock Me Baby. Ron Burke, the leading money winning trainer in North America, has entered two fillies in Saturday's featured event. Burke will start Mother Of Art, the 9-2 morning line fourth choice, and Free Show, a 12-1 morning line longshot. The 2016 $120,000 Courageous Lady field: PP Horse Trainer Driver Morning Line 1 Mother Of Art - Ron Burke - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 9-2 2 Time On My Hands - Chris Ryder - Aaron Merriman 4-1 3 Bellatricks - Virgil Morgan Jr. - Ryan Stahl 10-1 4 Yankee Moonshine - Doug Hinklin - Don Irvine Jr. 8-1 5 Rock Me Baby - Heidi Rohr -Tim Tetrick 7-2 6 Free Show - Ron Burke -Jason Merriman 12-1 7 Dime A Dance - Doug Snyder - Mike Wilder 15-1 8 LA Delight - Robert McIntosh - John Campbell 5-2 This year's Courageous Lady is the 11th of a 15-race program. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool has been added to the night. The guaranteed Pick-4 will begin with race eight and conclude with the Courageous Lady. In addition to world-class excitement on the track, an impressive array of activities has been planned for guests in attendance. "Home for the Holiday" drawings will be announced throughout the evening where winners will be taking home household goods worth thousands of dollars. Guests can also try their luck in Ohio Lottery Plinko and second chance drawings for non-winning instant lotto tickets that are $5 or more in value. Attendees can also enjoy a $19.95 buffet in Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the races. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. HISTORY OF THE RACE: The race is named after one of the finest and most popular pacing fillies ever to compete on Northfield Park's Flying Turns -- Courageous Lady. The poignant story behind the race revolves around the late Ruth Cohen of Mayfield Heights. In 1977, Julian Cohen, a Cleveland attorney and avid harness racing fan, paid $35,000 for the two year-old filly Courageous Lady for his sister Ruth, who had been diagnosed with cancer and given only two years to live. "We bought Courageous Lady midway through the filly's two year-old season and Ruth loved that horse," said Mr. Cohen, who himself passed away in 1997. "We followed her to all of her races. Ruth lived another eight years, primarily because of her horse." Courageous Lady, an Ohio-sired daughter of Captain Courageous from the mare Painter Pam, earned $418,256 between 1977 and 1981. She took a time-trial mark of 1:54.4 and twice equaled the 1:55.2 world record of the famed Silk Stockings. Among her other illustrious accomplishments, Courageous Lady became the first Ohio Sires Stakes champion to defend her title. She won numerous stakes in the United States and Canada, setting multiple stakes and national season's standards. As a broodmare, Courageous Lady produced two outstanding offspring prior to her untimely passing in 1989 at age 14. The filly Uptown Swell as a 1:54.2 performer with career earnings of $728,135, and Courageous Legacy, a Sonsam stallion, garnered a 1:52.2 lifetime record while banking over $183,000 for owner Julian Cohen. Northfield Park is proud to honor Ruth Cohen and the great mare, Courageous Lady. The outstanding fields of distaff talent annually assembled for the Courageous Lade are a fitting tribute for two of racing's most memorable and truly courageous ladies. Ayers Ratliff

Big returns Saturday at Northfield Park and harness racing longshot players were cashing in after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's fourth race on Saturday (November 12) when #6 Happy To Scoot swooped from the back to win at odds of 70-1. Steve Ashby of Mentor on the Lake, Ohio owns and trains the five year-old pacer. Daren Harvey was aboard for the winning drive. Saturday's win was Happy To Scoot's second win this year in 26 starts and represents her sixth lifetime score. Happy To Scoot was followed across the wire by #3 Tammy Ann (6-1), #1 Always Dee One (7-1) and #4 Fountain Pen (2-5). Happy To Scoot returned $141.80 to win; the 6-3 Exacta paid $2,348.60; the 6-3-1 Trifecta returned $12,120.60; and the 6-3-1-4 20¢ Superfecta paid $3,657.76. Ayers Ratlif

Like Old Times went to post on Saturday (November 7) at Northfield Park as both the 2015 Ohio horse of the year and the fastest harness racing four year-old trotting mare in the history of the Flying Turns. When she crossed the finish, she proved herself even faster when she lowered her own track record in the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot to 1:54.4. Her former record was 1:55 trotted earlier this year. Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio owns Like Old Times. Don McKirgan is her conditioner and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive. Like Old Times (Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubador) started from post five. She fired off the gate and led her competition through fractions of :27.4, :57.2, 1:26.1 and 1:54.4, besting her competition by 1¾-lengths. Like Old Times now has eight wins in 24 starts this year. Monday's victory represents her 22nd career score and bolstered her bankroll to $492,430. She returned $9.40 to win. Ayers Ratlif

Northfield Park is the place to watch and wager this weekend's Breeders' Cup races as the Rt. 8 harness racing oval becomes a horseplayer's paradise, offering a record $7,900 in prize money through a grand slam of free handicapping contests. The action kicks off Friday with a $2,000 Breeders' Cup Handicapping Contest on the four BC races on the Santa Anita card. First post time at the Arcadia, Ca. track is 2:25 p.m. (EST). Post time for the first Breeders' Cup race is 5:25 p.m., giving fans plenty of time to become members of Northfield's Players Club, which is free and makes them eligible for all contests. Registration is from 4 to 5:25 p.m Friday and from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to Friday's BC races and the handicapping contest that offers $1,000 to the winner, WAKR will broadcast live from the track from 2 to 7 p.m. with Brad Russell, Jasen Sokol and Sam Bourquin on the microphones. Fans can also take advantage of the $5 food special (Patty Melt & Fries) as well as $3 Miller Lite and Labatt beer special (16 oz. cans). Saturday is the richest day of prize money for astute handicappers. In addition to another $2,000 Breeders' Cup Handicapping Contest (on the nine BC races), Northfield is also hosting a $2,000 "Beat the Railbird" competition, with any and all entrants picking more winners than Bob Roberts, who for more than 30 years was the "Railbird" at the Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer, sharing in the jackpot. If any Players Club member sweeps Friday and Saturday's regular BC contests, he or she will be awarded a $1,000 bonus. To jumpstart Breeders' Cup Saturday, Roberts and Northfield's Michael Carter will host a handicapping seminar from 2 to 3 p.m. First post at Santa Anita on Saturday is 1:15 p.m. (EST) with the first Breeders' Cup race going to the post at 3:05 p.m. Northfield is hosting a live racing card Saturday with a 6 p.m. post time. Also on tap Saturday is "Spin and Win" from 6 to 7 p.m., and Lady Luck's Buffet in the clubhouse (6 to 9 p.m.) for $14.95. Northfield will conclude a full weekend of handicapper competition on Sunday with the regular $900 handicapping contest on the action from Aqueduct. Doors open at noon each and every day. Ayers Ratlif  

Moreland Flash paced home for his 50th career victory, winning the 15th race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (October 19). The 10 year-old harness racing veteran, with 244 career starts, also has 25 seconds and 26 third place finishes. Moreland Flash (Memphis Flash-Carols Cliff-Camtastic) has career earnings of $147,880 with a lifetime mark of 1:51.4 over Northfield's Flying Turns at age seven. The pacer's richest win was in the $8,200 Billy Dart Series at Scioto Downs in 2009. Moreland Flash is a well-traveled campaigner -- his 50 wins have been spread across eight different racing surfaces. Moreland Flash started from the rail. He led his competition at every call through fractions of :27.2, :57, 1:25.4 and 1:55.1. He never experienced an anxious moment in the race and bested his competition by 5¾-lengths. He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Amy Wengerd trains Moreland Flash for owner Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio. Hunter Myers was aboard for the winning drive. Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park is hosting the "Pace for the Cure" on Saturday (Oct. 15th), part of "Pinktober," a month-long effort to raise funds to fight breast cancer at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The one mile dash, which carries a purse of $7,500, is the fifth race on the live card and features all-female drivers to celebrate and help raise money for Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio as part of the Hard Rock Rocksino Pinktober Campaign. "Northfield Park is committed to playing an active role in the Hard Rock Rocksino's Pinktober event," said Brent Reitz, Northfield Park Vice President and General Manager. "The 'Pace for the Cure' is a great way to highlight both harness racing and the awareness and support for breast cancer research." The race is the centerpiece event of an Oktoberfest Saturday, a night packed with plenty of activities for harness racing fans. There will be a dice roll for prizes (6-7 p.m.) and a beer slide (7-8 p.m.) with railbirds competing for prizes, as well as a Leinenkugel Stein hoist competition at 9 p.m. The Lady Luck Clubhouse will offer an Oktoberfest themed buffet from 6 to 9 p.m. for $14.95. Reservations can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Fan can also join in the drive to eliminate breast cancer by purchasing raffle tickets ($1 each or five for $3) and depositing their raffle tickets in bags that correspond with their favorite "Pace for the Cure" driver. Tickets from the winning bag will be entered into a drawing for prizes. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Northfield's promotional table on the first level of the grandstand on Saturday, starting at 5 p.m. and continuing until post time for the fifth race. In addition, fans can show their support for "The Pace" is to purchase a limited edition commemorative "Pace for the Cure" T-Shirts for only $10. The monies raised as a result of Pinktober at Northfield will help Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio to provide vital services like free mammograms and clinical breast exams through partnerships with local healthcare facilities; diagnostic services, including ultrasounds, biopsies, and advanced services; and survivor support, including financial, transportation and other services. Among the participants in this year's Pace for the Cure is Devan Miller, perhaps the highest winning percentage female driver in the game today. Miller, winner of the Lady Pace Driving Championship at the historic Delaware County Fair on Sept. 20, has won eight of her 16 drives this year, with three runner-up finishes and a pair of thirds. Miller, 28 of Columbus, has license to be good. She is the daughter of David Miller, perhaps the most accomplished driver to hail from Ohio. Beaten in a photo finish in the Delaware race is Ulrika Fox, who'll compete in this year's Pace for the Cure. Fox has won six of 18 drives this year. Also set to square off in the Pace for the Cure are local trainer/drivers Rachel Kaneoka and Rosy Weaver, along with Jayne Weller, Jamie Coffy, Casey Wolfe, Christina Evans and Renee Bauslaugh. Weller is the most accomplished among the drivers. She has registered nearly 200 victories and is the daughter of June Weller, the only female to ever drive in harness racing's crown jewel, the Little Brown Jug. Admission and parking are free every day at Northfield Park. First race post time is 6 PM. Ayers Ratliff

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