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Northfield, OH - The 20-cent harness racing Northfield Single Six was taken down by a lone combination for a monstrous $49,040.14 return on Monday (Jan. 20). The payoff was hit by a patron wagering at MGM Northfield Park on Monday night. The Single Six wager premiered in 2018, and has become with bettors chasing colossal returns. The unique combination Pick-6 offers a low 14% takeout rate. The 20-cent wager carries over 50% of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. Monday's payoff is evidence that the 20-cent wager is doing exactly what it was designed to do; offering handicappers monstrous jackpot. By Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park.

Storied pacer Southwind Amazon became a millionaire winning the $15,000 Open Pace on Monday (January 20) in MGM Northfield Park’s ninth race.  Southwind Amazon went to the gate with 88 career wins and $998,216 in earnings.  Monday’s victory yielded $7,500, bringing his career tally to $1,005,716. The 10 year-old was assigned the outside post six in the evening’s featured pace.  He was fifth through the :26.4 opening quarter.  Southwind Amazon started his first-over bid in the second split and remained there through fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.  Amazon took the lead at the top of the stretch and bested his competition by ¾-length in 1:52.  Greg Grismore was given the evening’s driving assignment by Southwind Amazon’s trainer Paul Holzman.  The son of Camluck is owned by Ameer Najor of West Bloomfield, Michigan.  Southwind Amazon was the race favorite and returned $3.80 to win.  Paul Holzman with Southwind Amazon and his groom Alex Smith. (Raymond Lance Photo)   $20,000 Pick 5 Guaranteed Pool Tuesday at MGM Northfield Park MGM Northfield Park has announced the addition of a $20,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Tuesday (Dec. 21). Beginning in race two, the $20,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,342. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. 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%. Tuesday’s post time is 6 PM. Ayers Ratliff  

Northfield, OH -- Due to winter weather conditions in Northeast Ohio, MGM Northfield Park has canceled live harness racing for Saturday (Jan. 18). Live racing is set to resume on Sunday (Jan.19) at 6 p.m. Sunday's card features a trio of guaranteed pools in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Wagering opportunities include a $10,000 guaranteed total pool Pick-4 in races seven and 11, and a $10,000 guaranteed total pool Super Hi-5 in race 13. Free past performances provided by TrackMaster can be found here. By Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park  

The storied harness racing pacer Southwind Amazon enters MGM Northfield Park's ninth race on Monday (January 13) with $998,216 in career earnings. A first, second or third place finish will yield more than the $1,784 needed to add a second comma to his earnings. Finishing in the top-three appears to be more than attainable for the 88-time winner. Southwind Amazon has been assigned post-6 in Monday's $15,000 Open Pace and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Chris Page has been named to drive by Southwind Amazon's trainer Paul Holzman. The 10-year-old son of Camluck is owned by Ameer Najor of West Bloomfield, Michigan. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Aaron Merriman added to his history-making career on Monday (Dec. 30), becoming the first harness racing driver to achieve three straight 1,000-win seasons, acheving his 1,000th win in the 14th and last race at Northfield Park late Monday evening. Over the past couple of weeks, harness racing fans have been anxiously waiting to see if Merriman would complete the historical task. Merriman came through with seven victories on the day, including three wins at The Meadows earlier in the afternoon. The well-traveled reinsmen scored the victory in the 14th race aboard Some More Prince trained by William Rhodes. Merriman wasted no time sending Some More Prince to the lead once the gait sprung. He led Taurus Du Parc (Chris Lems) and Yankees Image (David Lake) through fractions of :28.1 and :57.4, before taking off past three-quarters of 1:26.3 leading Gale Force Hanover (Jason Thompson) and Sass (Hunter Myers) through the stretch. Merriman would not be denied his historic victory as he cruised to a 9-3/4 length victory in 1:56. "I had some horses with some shots, not my typical night where I drive a bunch of favorites," explained Merriman. "Noone appreciates this more than I do, it's a lot of hard work, a lot of family love, and everyone helps me."     In 2018, Merriman became the only driver to score 1,000 wins in back-to-back seasons following a year where he posted 1,095 victories. Merriman, now just 41, continues a torrid schedule, having driven in over 4,000 races the last six seasons. Aaron Merriman has won more races over Northfield's Flying Turns than any other driver in the track's history. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Northfield Park reminds horsemen of nine conditioned series, all based on a horse's earnings per start in 2019. These series will be for horses that are n/w $600 per start in 2019, n/w $1,000 per start in 2019 and n/w $2,000 per start in 2019 - separated by sex on the pacing side -- with all trotters racing together. There is no pre-nomination necessary for any of the series, which all consist of two preliminary legs, plus a final and possible consolations. Simply enter on the scheduled draw date for a specific series and pay the entry fee the night of the horse's scheduled start. Entry fees range from just $50 to $200 (one-time fee) with the series finals going for purses of $10,000 to $20,000. Horses do not need to compete in both preliminary legs of the series to qualify for the final or consolations. The first draw for these series (for F&M pacers) is Monday morning December 30 (declare by 9 AM) - to be raced on Saturday night, January 4. Call Northfield's race office at 330-467-4101 ext. 2300 for any questions. Click here for a complete schedule and rules: by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Each year must come to an end, and when it does harness racing must say goodbye to a few classy veterans that have competed till mandatory retirement. Every horse's birthday is January 1 and per the rules of the United State Trotting Association, a harness horse faces mandatory retirement the day they turn 15 years old. Thursday (December 26) at Northfield Park three horses will compete for their final time because they each turn 15 years old on Wednesday (January 1). Among the trio saying "Au revoir" to the racing scene is T Red. T Red has been one of the most reliable horses racing on the Michigan and Ohio circuits for about a decade. Thursday will mark his 477th race. T Red is one of just 16 pacers to win 100 times. He enters Thursday with 104 wins, 66 seconds and 73 third-place finishes, earning $479,673. T Red's lifetime mark was taken as a 5 year-old when he won in 1:51.1 at Indiana Downs. Henry Gully of Cement City, Michigan purchased T Red as a 4 year-old and has also been his trainer for the past 10 years. He may have spoiled Gully because he is the first horse that the 72 year-old Michigander ever owned, and was a mere $800 purchase. T Red has competed on 37 different racetracks throughout his career and has been piloted to victory by 33 different drivers. He goes to post in the eighth race on Thursday from the dreaded 8-hole and is 25-1 morning line. T Red seen here winning on the 28th of November 2018 at Northfield Park Thursday's second race marks 14 year-old veteran trotter Pembroke Snapshot's 351st and final race. He has 45 lifetimes wins, 45 runner-up placings and 52 thirds. He has earned $391,454 and has a 1:54 career best at The Meadows at age six. He is owned by Mikel Decker of Adrian, Michigan and trained by Jennifer Carpenter. The evening's third race will be 14 year-old Electric Lad's final race. He starts from post-7 and is 25-1. He is owned and trained by Brian Bellamy of Anderson, Indiana. Thursday will be his 381st race with 54 wins, 52 seconds and 46 third-place finishes, earning $453,908. His 1:51.2 mark was paced at Hoosier Park at the age of nine. Electric Lad seen here pacing home for his 50th career win The three are scheduled to compete as part of Northfield Park's 15-race program beginning at 6PM. For the fields and race charts click here. Ayers Ratliff  

MGM Northfield Park has announced the addition of a $25,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Monday (December 23). Beginning in race two, the $25,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,514. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. 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 PM. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Harness racing leading driver Aaron Merriman posted another stellar night at Northfield Park on Saturday (December 21) winning nine times on the 16-race program. Aaron's triumphs were with Mayabelle ($3.20) in race one, Gotta Be Me ($13.00) in race two, KJ's Foxy Lady ($4.00) in race three, Kick It In Kate ($7.60) in race four, Sea Rose ($6.20) in race seven, Bourbon And Barley ($4.40) in race 10, St Lads Gidget ($4.60) in race 13, Love Forbidden ($10.20) in race 14 and Bad Tigress ($3.00) in race 16. Merriman was the leading driver in North America in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He is leading by more than 200 wins this year. By winning his fifth straight title this year, Merriman would trail only Herve Filion 1968 - 1974 and Billy Haughton 1953 - 1958 for longest streak atop the North American win category. In 2017 Merriman piloted 1,095 winners. In 2018 he won 1,143 times, becoming the first driver in history to post two 1,000-win seasons. So far this year Aaron has driven 967 winners and could etch his name deeper into history books by becoming the only driver to have three 1,000-win seasons. Merriman has been driving since 1997 and has piloted nearly 12,000 career wins and is in excess of $80 million in purse earnings. Success over the Flying Turns is nothing new to Merriman. He has more wins than any other driver in Northfield Park's history. by Aryers Ratliff, for Northfield Park  

MGM Northfield Park will kick off the 2020 racing season with nine conditioned series, all based on a horse’s earnings per start in 2019.  The series will be for horses that are n/w $600 per start in 2019, n/w $1,000 per start in 2019 and n/w $2,000 per start in 2019 – separated by sex on the pacing side -- with all trotters racing together. There is no pre-nomination necessary for any of the series, which all consist of two preliminary legs, plus a final and possible consolations.  Simply enter on the scheduled draw date for a specific series and pay the entry fee the night of the horse’s scheduled start.  Entry fees range from just $50 to $200 (one-time fee) with the series finals going for purses of $10,000 to $20,000.  Horses do not need to compete in both preliminary legs of the series to qualify for the final or consolations. The draw for the first three series (for F&M pacers) is Monday morning December 30 (declare by 9 AM) – to be raced on Saturday night, January 4. Call Northfield’s race office at 330-467-4101 ext. 2300 with questions or to get the Conditions for the nine series races. By Ayers Ratliff for MGM Northfield Park

MGM Northfield Park has announced the addition of a $60,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Monday (December 16). Beginning in race two, the $60,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $17,388. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's ninth race starts the 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick 6) boasting a $9,142 carryover. 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 PM. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

DAYTON, OH. - Team Northfield Park harness racing drivers Kurt Sugg and Greg Grismore both scored driving doubles to lead their squad to a convincing 507-445 triumph in the initial "Buckeye Battle" at Hollywood Dayton--benefitting the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Sugg captured the sixth and seventh legs of the eight-race contest, while Grismore won leg two and the eighth and final leg to secure the victory for the Northern Ohio quintet. Aaron Merriman also won a leg to give Team Northfield a 5-3 advantage over Team Hollywood Dayton in the win column.   Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith and Josh Sutton won "Buckeye Battle" races for the home team, who had a narrow 364-350 lead after six of the eight races.   Overall point leader was Kurt Sugg who accumulated 130 points. Greg Grismore was a close second with 119, followed by Jeremy Smith 112, Tyler Smith 96, David Lake 95, Aaron Merriman 94-1/2, Josh Sutton 84, Brett Miller 83, Kayne Kauffman 70 and Chris Lems 68-1/2.   Winning horses were Fancy Footwork (Tyler Smith, 1:54, $9.00), Colonys Best (Greg Grismore, 1:54.1, $8.00), Parkin In Heaven (Aaron Merriman, 1:53.3, $3.00), Vegas Again (Jeremy Smith, 1:53.2, $8.00), Imajean Rocks (Josh Sutton, 1:52.2, $5.80), Risk N (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $16.60), Sportsmuffler (Kurt Sugg, 1:53.2, $10.00) and Arrival (Greg Grismore, 1:52.3, $28.40). $3000 was donated to the Disaster Relief Fund, which is being used to repair buildings as well as families following a horrific tornado that swept through Dayton last Memorial Day.   "It is just wonderful that people who weren't effected by the devastation keep coming together to help those that were," said the Dayton Foundation's Carrie Dalrymple. "We can't thank the horsemen enough for chosing to make a positive difference in total strangers lives tonight. Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association are to be commended for creating this fun event to raise awareness that this is a long term relief project that will take years to finish and more help is still needed."   Although Josh Sutton had the misfortune of having two horses scratched during the Buckeye Battle, he still lead all drivers on the overall 14-race program with a Grand Slam--four trips to the winner's circle on the night.   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

DAYTON, OH. - Five of Northfield Park's top harness racing drivers will square off against a quintet of Hollywood Dayton's best reinsmen on Friday night (Dec. 13) in the first-ever "Buckeye Battle" to determine state bragging rights (North vs. South) as well as raise money for the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.   Hollywood Gaming and the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association have joined forces to provide $3000 in prize money for the event--$2500 to the winners and $500 to the losers. All ten drivers from both teams have agreed to donate the entire amount to the relief fund, monitored by the Dayton Foundation, and being used to rebuild infrastructure in neighborhoods that were devastated by a Memorial Day tornado.   Team Northfield is captained by Aaron Merriman, the reigning 2019 national dash champion who currently has a comfortable lead in his quest to repeat and defend that title. He will be joined by Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems, Greg Grismore and David Lake. Team Dayton is led by local dash leader and native Ohioan Brett Miller, who is wrapping up his first year back as a Buckeye after a successful decade-long stint at The Meadowlands and other major harness tracks on the East Coast. Also competing for the local squad will be Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Kayne Kauffman and Josh Sutton.   The drivers will go toe-to-toe and stride-for-stride in eight races on the Friday program, which starts at 6:15 p.m. Each of the ten drivers were pre-assigned approximately equal post positions over the course of the contest, with horses then randomly drawn in to those races. Points will be awarded as follows: 30 for first place, 24 for second, 18 for third, followed by 14-11-8-5-3-1-0 for fourth through tenth place finishes.   Five claiming events, ranging from the $6500 level up to $15,000, plus three high level condition races comprise the competition. Team Northfield will look to gain an early advantage as Merriman will guide the morning line favorite in three of the first four events. Team Dayton drivers, however, have been blessed with morning line favorites in the final three events.   The competition will be friendly, but also fierce, as these ten top reinsmen face off to determine if the northern Ohio or southern Ohio drivers win the inaugural "Buckeye Battle."   by Gregg Keidel, for the Buckeye Battle

Northfield Park's 2020 stall applications are now available under the "For Horsemen" section at www.northfieldpark.com Limited space is available. Northfield will race a year-round harness racing schedule with 221 dates in 2020. Stables with qualified race horses are preferred, as Northfield will race five nights per week through January. Please call the race office at 330-467-4101 with any questions. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

MGM Northfield Park is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Track Veterinarian. Please contact Exec. V.P. of Racing Dave Bianconi at 330-467-4101 ext. 2207 or at dbianconi@mgmnorthfieldpark.com for details. By Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park    

Blue Ivy overcame windy conditions and a brisk 39 degrees to become the fastest three-year-old harness racing filly pacer to win in the history of Northfield Park. Blue Ivy (Captaintreacherous - Ali Blue - American Ideal) fired from post two to lead her competition through quarter times of :26.3, :54.1, 1:22 and 1:51.1, winning by 7 ¾-lengths. The previous 1:51.2 record was held by sophomore filly pacer Giggles In Dreams and Shawn Barker II set earlier this year. Blue Ivy now has eight wins in 20 starts this season for owner Renee Bercury and trainer William Bercury. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. The victory increased Blue Ivy's earnings to $185,285. Blue Ivy was heavily favored and returned $2.40 to win. by Ayers Ratlliff, for Northfield Park

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