Wind Of The North won a four-ply battle for the early lead, then held off the challengers late to prevail in Monday’s $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows, one of five victories for Aaron Merriman on the 13-race card.
Merriman gave Wind Of The North a :29.1 breather after that spirited opening panel, enabling him to withstand the determined first-over bid of Classic Banker and down him by a half-length in 1:55. PL Jerico rallied for show.
Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, an eight-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $1,016,258.
Merriman, who added a pair of seconds and a fifth in his eight drives, also scored for trainers Sarah Andrews, Robert Barnard, Spencer Kahrig and Gerald Lee Jr.
Jim Pantaleano also enjoyed a big Monday with three wins.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a pair of carryovers — $1,952,89 for the Pick 5 and $871.60 for the Super Hi-5.