Cover photo by Kat McCarthy
I first got into racing from my father Lanny Merriman and my late uncle Gary bought me a horse which started to peek my interest.
My daily race day routine can vary. But it involves getting every minute of sleep n the morning as possible haha. Don’t have much time to think of my day. I make sure to see my son off to school which my girlfriend Tessa usually makes sure is taken care of. But I do my doubles in the morning, grab a drink coffee at times or energy drink and jump in car and head to The Meadows. Then after card there head back to race at Northfield Park. I usually grab a sandwich in between and do some joking around with peers during my day too. At the end of the day, I just try to win as many races as possible!
On my to do list of races to win … I’d like to win the Jug/Hambo. Having the opportunity to drive in the Hambo this year was surreal, an UNBELIEVABLE experience! The race day support on that day was amazing. With all the attention worldwide on the Takter trio, it seemed if you looked on any social media I as a driver was getting support that had me winning the race! It nearly brought tears to my eyes each time my phone had a notification. The fans absolutely took any nerves I had away, I was more pumped up than anything.
Best 4th place 90-1 race ever!!!!
Just signature races in our sport and with the heats going back shows the toughness of our breed. I’d also love to drive over seas or somewhere in PEI, maybe the Gold Cup & Saucer, any track would do. I’ve participated at near every track in the US it seems.
I’m not a typical East Coast driver who watches my figure, my favorite pre race meal is usually whatever I can get my hands on. I like Chinese food or sushi, but really whatever I have time for. Fast paced music also helps me get ready for a race, cause I have a lot of radio time. Usually I’m listening to Sirius/XM channels 51-52-55, dance/electronica or dub step. Love them.
My most exciting moments in my career really happen daily, and that’s winning a race of any kind. I celebrate a win by letting my friends and fellow drivers whistle and say “Wow” hahahaha. I love being able to be around my friends and competing everyday. Every win means something. But usually it’s telling each other congrats on sweeping the whole card that day. All jokes.
To aspiring drivers. Please stay motivated! Don’t get discouraged it’s a long road and take CRITICISM! Most of the time the criticism is to help not harm.
Harness racing to me….it means many things. I’m blessed to work with these animals. But it’s a joy to be able to compete, race and be around your best friends and family. Being a person that someone counts on and pulling through is important and amazing. It’s a wonderful sport and I want it back to where the stands are packed on the weekends. It’s my job, my hobby and a big part of my life.
Say hi to Aaron at the track & show your support by following him on Twitter at @AaronMerriman
This interview is part of our new weekly features of faces in the sport, from fans to owners, trainers to grooms.