Washington, PA — When Partymode finished second Thursday in a conditioned pace at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, the significance went beyond the $2,050 check she earned. That check boosted her driver, Aaron Merriman, over $100 million in career purses.
John Campbell tops the all-time earnings list with nearly $300 million. David Miller is the leading active driver with more than $266 million in purses.
It was yet another milestone for Merriman, 44, the seven-time reigning dash champion who splits his time between The Meadows and Ohio tracks. On July 13, 2022, he celebrated career driving win 14,000 at The Meadows.
“It’s pretty cool,” Merriman said. “I really didn’t notice it. It comes in chunks sometimes, but I didn’t think about it at all.”
Since drivers retain five percent of their horses’ earnings, Merriman has netted just over $5 million in his career. But he says he doesn’t have a big stash of that in a cookie jar.
“C’mon, man, you’re forgetting the expenses,” he says. “Having kids is a serious responsibility. Much of that money helped put my son through college.
“It’s a big milestone, and I’m looking forward to the next one. Some guys look for the dollars; I look for the W’s.”