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Merriman Leads, Canadians Top 10 In Driving Tournament

Published: January 7, 2018 6:57 pm ET

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A pair of 'Buckeye' drivers, North American reigning dash champion Aaron Merriman and upstart Brady Galliers, each captured two races on the first day of two preliminary rounds to snare the top spots in the standings of the North America Drivers Championship at Miami Valley Raceway.

Round Two will be Monday afternoon (2:05 p.m. post time) with only the top 10 of the 30 drivers in the contest advancing to Championship Day on Tuesday.

The Round One top 10 scorecard reads: Aaron Merriman (83), Brady Galliers (66), Peter Wrenn (61), Simon Allard (60), Billy Davis Jr. (56), Louis-Philippe Roy (54.5), James MacDonald (53), Chris Page (52), defending champion Doug McNair (50) and John Cummings Jr. (49). With each driver getting four more drives on Monday, and a scoring system heavily weighted for on-the-board finishes, no driver is out of contention for a berth on the deciding day of the tournament.

First day winners were Tanzanite Love (Galliers, $8.60 to win), Burn Time Hanover (Merriman, $12), Upfrontoutthedoor (Trace Tetrick, $17), Idle Bones N (Allard, $17.40), Flashy Trick (John DeLong, $7), Onefinejimmerjohn (Roy, $11), Love To Roll (Cummings Jr., $8.60), Jessis Western (Merriman, $5.80), Delaware Heat (Galliers, $11), Another Breath (Chris Page, $6.00), Rockin Bikini (Davis Jr., $36.20) and Why Dont U Stay (Tyler Smith, $48.40).

The feature race on the first Sunday matinee of the season was the $27,500 Open Trot, won by Another Breath (Chris Page) is 1:54.1, equalling the five-year-old’s lifetime mark. Jeff Johnson Jr. trains the winner for owner Richard Mishkin. As the co-favourite, Another Breath returned $6 and coupled with 46-1 longshot runner-up Marty De Vie (Peter Wrenn) for the exacta that returned a handsome $273.20.

(With files from Miami Valley Raceway)

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