Merton Brothers Are Hot At The Mighty M
For the most part Mike and Greg Merton grew up on the backstretch of Monticello Raceway. After all, their dad, Bob Merton, Sr. was a longtime trainer-driver and during their Monticello High School seasons their school bus driver would drop them off at the stable gate so they could go to their dad’s barn.
There they received good formative training and both boys grew into hard working and accomplished horsemen and talented harness drivers. Their records speak for themselves.
Older brother Mike, now 41, is en route to a personal milestone and is just four wins from 2000 lifetime driving victories. Younger brother Greg, 39, a two-time Mighty M driving champion, currently has reined 3390 winners.
Although the brothers have had good years in the past this season could quite possibly be the best for each. A quick check of the Monticello Raceway leaderboard finds that Greg, with 95 wins is currently in third place and Mike, with 62 wins, is in fifth.
Moreover, the brothers has both been driving winners at a extremely elevated pace and on the Wednesday card of May 23rd Mike had two wins and Greg had three.
As aforementioned Mike is closing in on a career milestone and as is usually the norm when drivers, or sportsmen for that matter, approach a career landmark pressure sits-in to an extent ,and many state that the milestone triumph was the hardest.
“Pressure hasn’t set in for me yet,” the younger Merton admitted as he spoke about his upcoming milestone. “I’ve stopped thinking about it…..and just go with the flow. I’ve been driving some good horses lately and have been able to put them in position to win and so far everything has turned out alright. Still, I’m not there yet and maybe these last few wins will be hard to come by. I guess time will tell.”
Although Mike is having a good year brother Greg is on fire. Over the last 11 racing programs he has had a hat trick eight times and when he didn’t he reined two winners on the other cards. Because of his multiple daily victories Greg has moved up steadily on the local leaderboard and now finds himself just 13 wins from the top.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be the driver of choice of (trainer) Pete Pellegrino who has a small but power stable racing here and whenever I get behind one of Pete’s horses they go forward,” Greg explained. “And I’ve picked-up some other live catch- drives, too. I hope it all continues.”