January 4, 2017
Wrenn and Loney Repeat in 2016 for Northfield Park Dash Titles
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.
January 1, 2017
Aaron Merriman Continues Winning Into 2017 at 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.
December 29, 2016
222 Race Dates in 2017 for Northfield Park
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.