Jason Merriman Nabs 3,000th Driving Win

Published: September 16, 2023 10:20 pm EDT

Jason Merriman earned his 3,000th career driving win at Northville Downs on Saturday, Sept. 16 with Noha.

In the card opener, the team of Merriman and Noha made every call a winning one, putting up fractions of :27.3, :57.3 and 1:27.3. With a final time of 1:57.1, the pair won by a 1-3/4 lengths over Sir Globalop Z Tam (Lindsay Moen), who was second, and Real Thunder (Charles Taylor) in third.

Noha is a 13-year-old pacing gelding owned and trained by Michael Haley. The victory marked Merriman's 3,000th career driving win and the 18th career win for Noha.

Southfield, Michigan native Jason Merriman began driving Standardbreds in 2003 when he was just 17 years old. Coming from a long line of accomplished horsemen, the 37-year-old won his first pari-mutuel race at Pompano Park on Dec. 20, 2003 behind trotter I C U Talkin, a Michigan- bred by Keystone Nordic out of the Prise Speed mare Looks Of Quality, for trainer Gordon Norris, who is his grandfather and a Michigan Harness Horseman’s Hall of Famer.

Merriman commented in a prior interview for Midwest Harness Report, “I have been fortunate to be able to do what I love to do and make a living at it.” But as he adds this in modest fashion, he boasts career purse earnings in excess of $16.9 million and only drives mainly on the weekends at Northville Downs.

In the featured race, the $9,500 Open Pace named for Francis B and Geraldine M Crowley Family Racetrack Legacy, Coalford Bythesea (Downbytheseaside - Stormy Novel) and driver Justin Irvine took a pocket ride and turned it into a winning one. Lying In Cash was defeated in the stretch in a time of 1:54, which was a new lifetime mark for Coalfordbythesea and also his 10th career victory. Youmakemyheartsing (Kody Massey) finished third. Coalford Bythesea is owned and trained by Gerald Malady.

Greg Bateson and Kody Massey both doubled on the Saturday night card.

Racing at Northville resumes Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. Friday is dollar night featuring $1 live programs, $1 pop, $1 popcorn, $2 hot dogs and beer and hamburger and cheeseburger specials. Northville Downs races every Friday and Saturday night until Nov. 25 with a 7 p.m. post time.

(With files from Northville Downs)