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Harness Highlights - March 19, 2018

by Frank Carulli

March 19, 2018


Richard Moreau, who last month took home his fifth consecutive O'Brien Award as Trainer of the Year in Canada, reached an equally impressive milestone last Friday at Woodbine Racetrack.

When pacing mare Bad Night Mare earned a fourth-place check worth $1,440 in the ninth race, Moreau surpassed C$50 million in career earnings.

Moreau, 53, used a model of consistency to build his empire. Moreau's stable has earned $1 million every year since 2000 and $2 million every year this decade. He led all Woodbine Circuit conditioners in wins the last three years and sent out 200-plus winner in seven of the last eight seasons. He enjoyed a career-best 344 wins and $3.6 million in earnings in 2012.


Aaron Merriman, the North America dash champion three years running, became the 13th driver all-time to reach 10,000 wins when favored Icy Crystals romped in the sixth race trot Saturday at the The Meadows, his second of three winners on the card.

Merriman, 39, appeared to have reached the milestone Friday night at Miami Valley Racing in his home state of Ohio. But he was informed earlier in the day that two horses he drove to apparent victories in October were disqualified and the appeals from their connections denied, thereby reducing Merriman's win total by two.

With plenty of reason to celebrate, Merriman's thoughts were elsewhere -- with fellow driver Matt Kakaley, who reportedly suffered a broken collarbone and facial fractures in an accident at Yonkers Raceway last Tuesday. Kakaley was driving Lawgiver Hanover when the horse took a bad step and went down going into the third turn, throwing Kakaley from the bike.


"I’d like to give Matt a shout out," said Merriman. "I talk to him about every day. He’s doing well, but it’s a scary thing. Here I’m enjoying this accomplishment, and he’s in the hospital. It doesn’t seem fair. My heart goes out to him."