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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Before the start of Saturday night's harness racing card at The Meadowlands, driver Dexter Dunn was named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season in a virtual Dan Patch Awards ceremony that the entire sport could view on the internet or at any simulcast venue. Then Dunn went out and showed why that considerable amount of hardware sits on his mantle. The 31-year-old New Zealand product, whose 131 wins during 2020 led all Big M drivers, registered four scores on the 15-race program - after winning three on Friday - to seize control of the top of the Meadowlands' standings with 15 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting. Dunn scored with 4-5 favorite Some Chapter in the opener, a high-end conditioned trot, and followed that up by guiding 7-1 shot On Accident to the winner's circle in the third in a low-end conditioned pace. Thndrfrmthethron N, the 9-5 second choice, was winner No. 3 in another low-end conditioned pace in the fourth, before Dunn capped his grand slam with 3-2 public choice Italian Delight N in a mid-range conditioned pace in the eighth. Thndrfrmthethron N HANDLE TOPS $3 MILLION AGAIN: For a fourth consecutive Saturday, all-source wagering surpassed $3.4 million, as a total of $3,458,896 was put in play. Over the last four Saturdays, betting at The BIg M has totaled $15,386,226, an average per card of $3,846,556 at the industry's handle leader. THARPS IS THE KING: Backers of provisional driver Devon Tharps may not have known that the 27-year-old Ohio native who works for Tony Alagna had never won a pari-mutuel race in his previous 52 tries, and when the second race was over, those who bet him didn't care either way. Tharps guided Acting Out to a victory from off the pace in the Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that pays tribute to the civil rights leader that features African-American drivers. Tharps and Acting Out were fifth at the three-quarter-mile mark before pacing home in :28.3 to upset the field of $12,500 claimers at odds of 9-1, returning $21.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:54.4. Acting Out A LITTLE MORE: Shnitzledosomethin worked out a perfect pocket trip and took the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace in 1:49.4 for trainer Dylan Davis and driver Corey Callahan. The 12-1 outsider returned $26.80 to his backers in upping his win streak to three. ... Callahan finished the night with three winners. ... If you missed the Dan Patch Awards show, you can see it from start to finish by going to The Meadowlands YouTube channel. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

HARRISBURG PA - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the leading media organization in North American harness racing, has announced the winners of its Dan Patch Awards balloting for excellence exhibited among both equines and humans. The "best of the best" are normally honored at the writers' Dan Patch Annual Awards Banquet, but that event was cancelled this year due to the ongoing health crisis, so a special Virtual Awards show was broadcast Saturday. The Dan Patch Awards Show will be archived & available on the USHWA website (www.usharnesswriters.com) & USHWA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters) and also on USTA's YouTube channel, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. This release focuses on the human and broodmare award winners. The racehorse winners, including the Horse of the Year, will be listed in a separate release being sent at approximately the same time as this one. DRIVER DEXTER DUNN, BREEDER BRITTANY FARMS REPEAT AS WINNERS IN THEIR DAN PATCH CATEGORY Dexter Dunn, a nine-time winner of the driving title in his native land of New Zealand before the age of 30, has now been in the United States and Canada for two years, and he has been voted Driver of the Year both years. 2020 was an especially rich year for him, in two senses of the word: he was the leading money-winning driver last year with almost $11.2 million bankrolled by his charges, many of whom were voted champions of their respective divisions. In September, October, and November alone in the shortened season, he drove the winners of 26 races worth more than $100,000, including the pacing filly champions in both the 2- and 3-year-old ranks, Fire Start Hanover and Party Girl Hill; the two champions among the older pacing set, stallion Bettor's Wish and mare Kissin In The Sand; champion trotting mare Manchego; and champion sophomore trotting male Amigo Volo. He again won four Breeders Crown races. During 2021 Brittany Farms has a very good chance of being only the third breeding concern to have been the first home of the winners of $200,000,000 - and that figure achieved despite producing a good many fewer horses than their nearest competitors. They have tied Hanover Shoe Farms as the #1 breeders of Breeders Crown winners at 27. Among the farm's divisional winners in 2020 were Manchego, Bettor's Wish, and the undefeated two-year-old colt pacer Perfect Sting. They were third among breeders in 2020, with their progeny earning over $5.5 million - again, with fewer starts that others clustered at the top of the list.   PINSKE STABLES GIVEN NOD AS OWNERS OF THE YEAR; KELLY SMITH VOTED LEADING CARETAKER Fifty years in the sport with their familiar gold and green colors, the Pinske Stables, in their current composition Marlys Pinske, her son Karl, and her grandson Carter, had a great year to win the closest vote in all of the Dan Patch categories, 55-48, over another family operation, the Chaffees' Caviart Farms. The Pinskes were in various tracks' winners circles after several victories by the richest two-year-olds of both sexes, the trotting colt Venerate ($767,914) and the pacing filly Fire Start Hanover ($592,562), along with the leading three-year-old trotting colt, Amigo Volo, who won his Breeders Crown and the Kentucky Futurity. All three were voted divisional championships in the writers' Dan Patch balloting (more detail in Racehorse release). The winner of the 2020 Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm, is Kelly Smith, a longtime worker in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester. Smith was nominated by Sylvester himself, who called her "my unsung hero." Smith began working for Sylvester three decades ago, with one of her first champions being the 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky's Goal. Another of Smith's many champions and one of her all-time favorite horses is 2013 Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. In all, 16 nominations for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award were submitted, with Smith chosen as a winner by a select group of seven USHWAns, all of whom were former caretakers themselves.   CHAMPION RACEHORSE JK SHE'SALADY NOW 2020 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR; VOTE FOR TOP TROTTING BROODMARE GOES TO STEAMY WINDOWS Voted Horse of the Year after going undefeated in twelve freshman starts, the Art Major - Presidential Lady pacing mare JK She'salady is also showing her quality as a broodmare by winning that Dan Patch Award against strong opposition. Bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, JK She'salady from her first two foals has produced two outstanding fillies who ranked among the best of their divisions - the Western Ideal miss JK First Lady, a winner of over $700,000 and a sub-1:50 performer at both two and three, and the Always B Miki distaff JK Alwaysbalady, who won her Breeders Crown elimination then was second in the final. Both raced for 3 Brothers Stable. Her trotting counterpart is Steamy Windows, a daughter of Muscle Massive - Commando Queen who was bred and is owned by Order By Stable. She produced the Trotter of the Year, the Chapter Seven stallion Gimpanzee, who won his third straight Breeders Crown and dominated the free-for-all ranks, raising his career bankroll to $2.7 million. Gimpanzee's two-year-old full sister, Iteration, won half of her ten freshman starts and bankrolled over $300,000. Nancy Takter, trainer of Horse of the Year Tall Dark Stranger, was previously announced as the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year after being nominated for the award by all of USHWA's chapters.   VOTING TOTALS 130 out of 185 (70.3%) of eligible voters submitted ballots Nancy Takter unanimously selected as Trainer of the Year by USHWA's chapters Caretaker of the Year selected by an USHWA panel   OWNER OF THE YEAR PINSKE STABLES 55 Caviart Farms 48 Crawford Farms 25 abstain 2 DRIVER OF THE YEAR DEXTER DUNN 114 David Miller 13 abstain 3 BREEDER OF THE YEAR BRITTANY FARMS 88 Order By Stable 30 Runthetable Stables 7 abstain 5 TROTTING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR STEAMY WINDOWS 79 Margarita Momma 31 Dunk The Donato 8 Nantab 7 abstain 2 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR JK SHE'SALADY 48 Great Memories 39 Beachy Girl 31 Swinging Beauty 8 abstain 1   U.S. Harness Writers Association

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On the final day of the Championship Meet at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day, harness racing driver Yannick Gingras won four races to catch Dexter Dunn for the driver's title, defeating the defending United States Harness Writers Association Driver of the Year, 86 wins to 85. That's about the only time anything went wrong during 2020 for Dunn, who is an overwhelming favorite to win DOTY for a second straight season as 12 of the 13 USHWA chapters have nominated the native New Zealander to take home the award as the sport's top pilot. At the current Fall Meet at The Meadowlands - which kicked off Sept. 5 - Dunn is on his way to taking home the leading driver trophy. With just three race cards remaining in the calendar year, the 31-year-old reinsman has 43 wins, which puts him six ahead of Todd McCarthy in the standings. Dunn, not surprisingly, also sits atop the UDRS (.336, well ahead of Dave Miller's .275) and win percentage (.216 to McCarthy's .146) heaps among drivers with at least 100 starts. He also has 26 seconds and 28 thirds, giving him 97 on-the-board finishes (.487). Dunn's 128 overall Big M victories lead the way for the entire year. Some highlights from Dunn's spectacular 2020 include: Has earnings of $11 million, no other driver has $10 million Won four Breeders Crown finals at Harrah's Hoosier Park Won four times at The Big M on Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night It's been a remarkable rise to stardom for Dunn, who is currently the game's top driver while participating in just his second full season in the U.S. since his arrival from Down Under in mid-November of 2018. DID YOU SEE? If you were playing Meadowlands races Saturday (Dec. 12) night, probably not. An incredibly resilient, thick fog shrouded the mile oval, allowing patrons a clear view of just the opening and closing 10 seconds of the first eight races on the card, no doubt reminding some of the 1988 NFL playoff game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles known as the "Fog Bowl". DID YOU MAKE A SCORE? Whether it was Friday night (Dec. 11) or Fog Night (Saturday, Dec. 12), there were some healthy payouts to be had. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 returned $5,568 Friday despite those who cashed in only needing six winners to do it. Twenty-four hours later, the wager returned $1,110. Those with winning 20-cent Pick-6 tickets also had a happy weekend, walking away with $3,331 and $1,786 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. A HOLIDAY WISH: "On behalf of myself and everyone in our Meadowlands family," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!" IF WEATHER IS AN ISSUE: If you can't make it out to The Meadowlands in the aftermath of the snowstorm that hit Northern New Jersey, you can watch and wager on all the action from the comfort of your own home. Go to rtn.tv or your favorite ADW platform to catch every race live. The Television Games Network (tvg.com) shows all Meadowlands action live and offers opportunities for those who want to bet on Big M races as well. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Andrew Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. FREE PPs: For free past performances of Meadowlands races, courtesy of the United States Trotting Association and TrackMaster, go to playmeadowlands.com. Races one through five - the entire 20-cent Pick-5 - will be available for both the Friday and Saturday cards. CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's selections and commentary. Click on the "handicapping" tab and go to "race reviews". Additionally, track announcer Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands. THE SCHEDULE: Live racing at The Big M will be conducted this Friday and Saturday night with a first-race post time of 7:15 p.m. There is no live racing on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25. There will be live racing Saturday, Dec. 26, with a post time of 6 p.m. In addition, The Meadowlands will be closed for simulcasting on both Dec. 24 and 25. HOLIDAY AT FANDUEL: More football is a good thing. Faithful fans of The Big M's FanDuel Sports Book will have plenty of National Football League games on which to bet in the next five days. There will be one game on Thursday (Dec. 17), two on Saturday (Dec. 19), 12 on Sunday (Dec. 20) and one on Monday (Dec. 21). For those who like to bet a "Local-Team Parlay", the Jets (+17½) travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams Sunday at 4:05 p.m. while the Giants (+5) host the Cleveland Browns Sunday at 8:20 p.m. Next week for the Christmas holiday, there will be some changes to the schedule at the FanDuel Sports Book. On Dec. 24, bets will be taken until 6 p.m. The book will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. During a normal week, hours in the track's FanDuel Sports Book are from 10 a.m. - midnight Sunday through Friday and from 10 a.m. - 2 a.m. on Saturday. Meadowlands Media Relations

By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk    A year like no other got even stranger at the famed Meadowlands racetrack in New Jersey on Saturday night. Thick fog rolled in, forcing the cancellation of races 2 and 3. “I have never quite seen fog like I saw tonight at East Rutherford, New Jersey,” says Meadowlands Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. Still, 11 of the 13 races still went ahead with the last race going at 11.25 pm local time. Kiwi star Dexter Dunn got another win to add to his chart-topping year, with the Nifty Norman-trained Let It Ride winning race 6. It was win number three in as many starts since the son of Rock N Roll Heaven arrived from Australia. He rated 1:48.4 for the mile. The Kiwi-bred won his first four starts in this country for trainer Tim Butt before being exported to Australia in May 2018. Dunn has 382 wins for the year, that’s the seventh highest in North America with Aaron Merriman leading the way on 690. But by far Dunn has won the most money. His total currently stands at $US11.024 m - that’s over $NZ15m. He’s comfortably ahead of Tim Tetrick ($US9.62m) and Yannick Gingras ($US9.06m).

Bettors Heart N impressive, winning the Fillies and Mares Open, at Dover Downs Wednesday night. Soho Burning Love A,usually a staunch closer, was sent to the front by driver Tim Tetrick.  Machnhope with driver Andrew Mc Carthy immediately went on the retake from the pocket and took the lead past the quarter in 26.4. The half was 55.2. Soho Burning Love A sat in the pocket. At the five eights mark, Dexter Dunn maneuvered Bettors Heart N to the outside, first over.  They challenged the pacesetter Machnhope past three quarters in 123 flat, pacing a 27.3 quarter. At the seven eights pole, Bettors Heart N motored past Machnhope and the pocket rocket Soho Burning Love A to win by a convincing, three quarters of a length.  The time of the race was 1:50.3.  Bettors Heart N. was sent off as the four to five race favorite. Bettors Heart N paced an individual last half in 53.4 seconds.  The individual last three quarters of a mile was paced in 1:22.2. Bettors Heart N ( Bettor’s Delight) is owned by Enzed Racing Stable Inc.  Dexter Dunn was the driver for trainer R. Nifty Norman. Machnhope finished second for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Noel Dailey. Soho Burning Love A was third.  Tim Tetrick was her pilot.  Jim King Jr was the trainer. Montrelll Teague won four races on the card. Post Time for Dover Downs is 4:30 pm.   Alex Kraszewski Dover Downs

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk     As if Dexter Dunn’s year couldn’t get much better – it has. At Meadowlands in New Jersey over the weekend the 10-time champion Kiwi driver won four of the eight stakes races, providing the dream finish for superstars Manchego, Kissin In The Sand and Bettors Wish in their last career starts. Always A Miki was the night’s other winner in the Governor’s Cup as champion trainer Nancy Takter provided three of Dunn’s winners, with expat Kiwi trainer Chris Ryder (Bettor’s Wish) the other. Manchego beat Atlanta by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:51.3. The five-year-old mare, the sport’s fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020, finishes her racing days with a record of 33 wins from 56 starts, and $US2.72 in stakes. Kissin In The Sand’s final start was her seventh straight win and her 27th in 58 starts, with reigning horse of the year Shartin N fading late to finish third, with Sneaky Peaky grabbing second. Kissin In The Sand will now be bred to the season’s highest stakes earner Tall Dark Stranger. Bettor’s Wish is heading to the stallion paddock after winning his final race by nearly three lengths for Dunn and Ryder. It was win number 24. It will be his second stint at stud having served 58 mares before starting his four-year-old campaign. Dunn’s continued success all but ensures he will be named US Harness Writers’ Association Driver of the Year for the second year running. The 30 year old is the only driver in the US to have topped $US10m in stakes earnings for the year. In a year that seen him drive 354 wins so far, his tally currently stands at $US10.655m, well ahead of nearest rivals Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night saw a handful of horses lock up harness racing divisional honors Saturday night at The Meadowlands. It also saw the two most-coveted human awards more than likely cinched by a pair of the game's biggest stars. First up was Dexter Dunn, the 30-year-old native of New Zealand, who in his second year driving full time in America, left not much doubt whom the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year will be. Of the eight stakes races on the card, Dunn emerged victorious four times, guiding Manchego (TVG Open Trot), Kissin In The Sand (TVG Mares Pace), Always A Miki (Governor's Cup) and Bettor's Wish (TVG Open Pace) to victory lane. Add in the fact that Dunn won four Breeders Crown races and was the only driver in the sport with $10 million in earnings this year coming into the night, he better make room for a second DOTY trophy. Takter scored three times on the card, as her trainees - Manchego, Kissin In The Sand and Always A Miki - were all handled by Dunn. She entered Saturday with earnings of $7.3 million from just 397 starts. During 2020, in addition to the aforementioned power-packed threesome, Takter also had likely Horse of the Year winner Tall Dark Stranger - the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup champion - in her barn. It's clear that Takter will more than likely raise the USHWA Trainer of the Year hardware again. A LITTLE MORE: Trainer Ron Burke and driver Dave Miller both reached an incredible milestone, as each pushed past the $250-million mark in lifetime earnings. Burke reached that lofty number when his Baklouva finished second in the Governor's Cup Consolation while Miller became a quarter-billionaire after scoring with Blue Diamond Eyes in the Three Diamonds. Burke is harness racing's leading all-time trainer in terms of earnings while Miller is second to John Campbell, who finished his career with $299 million in his bank account. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,744,397. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ -- Bettor's Wish closed out his racing career in style with a powerful performance in Saturday's (Nov. 21) $340,000 TVG Series Open Pace championship, defeating Backstreet Shadow by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:48.1 at The Meadowlands. This Is The Plan finished third. Bettor's Wish led to the first turn before yielding to Southwind Ozzi in a :27.1 opening quarter. Southwind Ozzi's time on top was short-lived as driver Dexter Dunn directed Bettor's Wish back to the lead and took the field to the half in :54.2 and three-quarters in 1:22. He was never threatened in the stretch.   Sent off as the 1-2 favorite, Bettor's Wish paid $3.00 to win. "I barely asked him tonight, to be honest," Dunn said. "It was all him. It's been him his whole career. He's a true racehorse. "It was a special feeling crossing the line with him tonight. He's been an amazing horse to me." Bettor's Wish, a 4-year-old stallion by Bettor's Delight out of Lifetime Star, won 24 of 44 career starts and $2.60 million. He failed to finish among the top three only three times in his career. He received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male pacer in 2019 and was second to Shartin N in voting for both Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Other victories this year for Bettor's Wish included the Sam McKee Memorial, Dayton Pacing Derby, and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Bettor's Wish is owned by trainer Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, and Bettors Wish Partners. He was bred by Brittany Farms. "I'm very sad to retire the horse tonight, but it's the right time, it's the right thing to do for his stud career," Ryder said. "I'm really, really going to miss him. He's raced so good for us so many times, it's like I've got to pinch myself when I look back on those races. There are so many good memories. "I'd really like to thank my ownership group. They stood behind me 100 percent and let me race him wherever and whenever and that's made it a whole lot easier. The whole trip has just been very exciting and something I'll never forget." Bettor's Wish bred 58 mares in New Jersey this year before beginning his 4-year-old campaign. He will stand at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2021. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

ANDERSON, Ind -- Odds-on choice Kissin In The Sand bested reigning Horse of the Year Shartin N in the final strides of the lone $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination for harness racing pacing mares on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Floating for position from post nine, Kissin In The Sand found a spot in fourth as Shartin N slid to the lead past a :27.1 first quarter. Warrawee Ubeaut rode the pocket up the backside with Treacherous Reign third. Meanwhile, driver Dexter Dunn waited to move Kissin In The Sand past a :56.2 half. Rounding the final turn, Dunn gave marching orders to the 4-5 betting choice, rolled toward Shartin N by three-quarters in 1:23.4, and stayed at her side through the stretch drive. Shartin N kept Kissin In The Sand at bay until the final sixteenth, where the 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare slid to a three-quarter length advantage to win in 1:49.4. Shartin N settled for second with Warrawee Ubeaut giving pursuit up the passing lane for third and Treacherous Reign behind the top three in fourth. "She's been a good mare -- you know, she was a good 2-year-old, good 3-year-old, 4-year-old, 5-year-old, so she's just super tough," trainer Nancy Takter said after the race. "The best part is going to be that she's not going to have the nine-hole in the final now." A winner on six occasions from 10 starts this year and 25 times in 56 starts overall, Kissin In The Sand has earned $1,519,094 for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. She paid $3.60 to win. With Rockin Nola and Trillions Hanover opting for byes to the $300,000 final, Philly Hanover, Caviart Ally, Sweet Lucy Lou and Stonebridge Soul -- who finished fifth through eighth, respectively -- will also advance. The field of 10 distaff pacers, and their trainers, that will contest the $300,000 final are as follows: 1. Sweet Lucy Lou (Robert Cleary) 2. Rockin Nola (Joe Putnam) 3. Kissin In The Sand (Nancy Takter) 4. Caviart Ally (Brett Pelling) 5. Warrawee Ubeaut (Ron Burke) 6. Shartin N (Jim King Jr.) 7. Philly Hanover (Robert Don Fellows) 8. Treacherous Reign (Tony Alagna) 9. Trillions Hanover (Tom Fanning) 10. Stonebridge Soul (Chris Ryder) by Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown

LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn secured a pocket seat for Amigo Volo and, with several horses making breaks over the "good" surface, had open road to pop and power to a 1:51 victory in the $444,000 128th Kentucky Futurity on Sunday (Oct. 11) at The Red Mile. Ready For Moni, the 2-1 second choice, made a break on his way to the gate and lagged from his second-tier starting spot while Amigo Volo pushed for position to the inside. Beads, launching from post 10, swept to the lead before a :27 opening quarter while Amigo Volo settled into second with EL Ideal third and 4-5 favorite Back Of The Neck fourth. Back Of The Neck made his move after the leader passing a :54.2 half and drew closer to the pacesetter into the final turn. Moving towards three-quarters in 1:22.3 Back Of The Neck broke stride, giving Amigo Volo room to tip out of the pocket straightening for the finish. Beads began to gallop while EL Ideal chased Amigo Volo through the stretch, settling for second. Third Shift ripped from the backfield to take third while Chestnut Hill weaved through traffic for fourth. "He was really good here last week--he was probably just a little bit short," Dunn said after the race of the Father Patrick gelding's second-place finish in the Bluegrass. "Nifty knew he was going to be better today and he was. Last year he used to shake his head bad and it cost him a couple of times. He didn't have as good of form when he came back as a three-year-old--he was a bit average. We were probably looking after him a little too much--he just likes to race. You get off the gate hard, that's when he gets excited and puts in good performances. "I did attempt to go [for the lead]--I came out for a little bit when we hit the back straight, but Beads was a little aggressive and took off so I ducked back into the two-hole there," Dunn also said regarding the trip. "Back Of The Neck came up outside of us around the last turn, and I was sort of 50-50 [on] whether I'd come out or stay in. And he ran, so that was probably a lucky trip in the last turn to get out, but the horse did a great job." Surpassing $1 million in earnings with the victory, Amigo Volo has won six races from 12 starts this season and 12 from 24 overall, banking $1,206,369 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Richard "Nifty" Norman trains the gelding bred by Kentuckiana Farms LLC and Jorgen Jahre Jr. He paid $10.00 to win. The 128th Kentucky Futurity was sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

By Peter Craig    This year’s inductee was announced at Addington Raceway on Thursday 8 October 2020 as part of the eighteenth Canterbury Owners and Breeders Night. The youngest ever reinsman to be inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame in Dexter Dunn was this year’s recipient; already an inductee of the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame. Dexter Dunn, with a profile confirming his status as one of the hottest reinsman in North America, already has an impressive and extensive CV of achievements. Briefly these include being the youngest driver in NZ to reach 100 winners in a season/win a NZ driver’s premiership (both aged 18) and attain 1,000 and 2,000 wins. The winner of ten consecutive NZ drivers premierships (record) plus concurrent with them four consecutive junior drivers premierships (equal record), Dexter won 200 races on six occasions (twice 199) setting new seasonal records on three occasions (best 229). He has twenty eight NZ Group One winning drives and equalled Doug Watts and Tony Herlihy’s record of seven winners on race day at Forbury Park in May 2015 (six wins on six occasions; twenty three times five winners). Worldwide Dexter has driven over 3,100 winners – NZ (2,226, fifth on NZ list/585 Addington), Australia (55), Ireland (4) and 842 to date in North America (4 October 2020; current season ninth on wins [280], leader on stakes won [US$7.173m). He won the 2015 World Drivers Championship in Sydney and in his first full season in North America in 2019 Dexter was awarded USA Harness Writers Association driver of year : 460 winners (double his NZ record, eighth on NA list), US$12.071m in stakes, third behind Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras. Earlier this year he drove seven winners on a fourteen race Meadowlands programme, one short of the record as well as being second most successful driver at Meadowlands 2019/2020 (85 wins to Yannick Gingras’s 86). He was the driver of North America’s 2019 leading money winner Bettors Wish and multiple world record trotter Manchego – fastest trotting mare on mile (T1:49.0 Lexington, Red Mile) and 5/8ths (T1:49.3 Plainridge Park) tracks and latterly Jugette winner Party Girl Hill (world record 1:49.3 on half mile track for a female) part of six win day for Dunn on Jugette Day 2020. From early September 2020, leading USA stake earning driver – at 4 October 2020, US$7.173m (approx. NZ$11m) and second on Grand Circuit points table for drivers. All this and much more having just turned thirty one with plenty still to come, these are just a few of many notable achievements in the career to date of this year’s latest and youngest horseperson to be inducted into the Addington Harness Hall of Fame : DEXTER DUNN.

DAYTON, OH. - On a night when eight track records were either beaten or tied at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn) edged an outstanding field of North America's top older pacers winning the seventh annual Dayton Pacing Derby in 1:49. Dancin Lou (Brian Sears) was lapped on the winner at the wire and Century Farroh (David Miller) was just beaten by a single length.   Bettor's Wish was content to settle in fifth during the opening :26 panel, moved into the outer flow at the :54.2 halfway point, advanced to fourth by the 1:21.1 third timing beam, then scooted powerfully through the lane to win it.   Ohio racing fans watched in amazement as a pair of Buckeye-bred superstars turned the field into the stretch just a nose apart on the lead. But alas the quick fractions took their toll and when a quintet of nationally ranked Derby hopefuls paced final quarters under :28 seconds Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith) and Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) couldn't fight them off.       Trainer Chris Ryder co-owns Bettor's Wish with partners Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Bettor's Wish Partners. The Derby triumph was just his third in eight 2020 starts, but boosted his bankroll to $2,213,033 with 21 victories in 39 races.   Handle for the Derby card was $594,093--the second highest of track history.   "Racing fans love to see great horses in full competitive fields," said Director Of Racing Jason Bluhm. "Our race office and our track crew did a tremendous job on our marquee event and adding the eight $60,000 Buckeye Stallion Series championships on the supporting card proved to be a recipe for a great night!"   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Trainer Nancy Takter thought long and hard about giving Kissin In The Sand a week off after a convincing 1:49 win in the Milton Stake at Woodbine Mohawk outside Toronto last Saturday. But a change in plans, possibly caused by a realization that Hatfield Stables of Ohio co-owns the magnificent mare with Marvin Katz of Toronto, resulted in an epic battle with Shartin N and another 1:49 score in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby on Saturday night (Oct. 3).   The 1:49 triumph equaled the Hollywood Dayton track record for older pacing mares, set three races sooner by Miss You N in a $25,000 Mares Open. Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind both winning mares.   Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) set sail from the get go and cut all the fractions (:26.3, :54.2 and 1:21.2) before getting snapped by Kissin In The Sand a few steps from the finish line. The winner was content to get away fourth and stayed in that spot until past the three-quarters marker, despite moving into the outer flow in second over position before the halfway juncture. Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) was third to cross the wire.       Kissin In The Sand was actually dispatched at odds of 4-5 over even money Shartin N and didn't disappoint. The five-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere now sports 23 wins in 54 lifetime starts and boosted her career bounty to $1,470,594.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

Down Under trainer and driver have unforgettable day at Delaware Ohio on Wednesday. Driver Dexter Dunn drove 6 winners on the harness racing program, with the major highlights being Party Girl Hill’s world record performance and her win in the Jugette Final. Down Under Trainer Chris Ryder was successful in 3 races, highlighted by training the quinella in the Jugette Final. The Down Under trainer / driver combination teamed up and won both of the two Jugette divisions worth $47,545 each. The first one was with New Year a 3yo daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who won in 1:52.0. The next win was with unbeaten filly Party Girl Hill who put up a freakish performance to win in a world record time of 1:49.3. This winning time was the fastest every time recorded for a female pacer around a half mile (800m) racetrack.  Following the two wins. The mares backed up in the Jugette Final approximately an hour forty minutes later where they crossed the line in quinella. Party Girl Hill and Dexter Dunn coming in 1st place in a time of 1:50.3 and New Year finishing 2nd to her with Joe Bongiorno picking up the catch drive, making it a Chris Ryder trained Quinella in the $142,635 Final.   Party Girl Hill a daughter of Captaintreacherous kept her race record unbeaten and stamped her mark in the history with her world record performance. It was only her 11th career start and 11th win and has $577,270 in the bank to date. Following Dexter Dunns successful day of driving 6 winners and 3 for Chris Ryder he said, “This is a special moment for my lifetime because the Ryders have been family friends with the Dunns for 50-odd years. Chris and (his wife) Nicola have done so much to get me over here and support me. It’s a day I’ll never forget.”.  Dunn also teamed up with Down Under trainer Nifty Norman on the day to win with Spoiled Princess, a 3yo daughter of Trixton who won the 2nd division of the Buckette in 1:55.2 trotting.    Monday 21st September Harrington Raceway DE Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $15,000 Mako Banner N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $5,500 Extreme Machine N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,500   Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $6,600   Plainridge Park MA Naughty Maravu N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $10,500 Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $9,000 Tisadream N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $7,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Highview Conall N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $8,500 Majestic Kiwi N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500 Yayas Hot Spot N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500   Tuesday 22nd September   Harrington Raceway DE Shes Pukka N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $13,500 Betterthanamisus N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,000 Jossie James A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Claytons Bettor N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,400   The Meadows PA Rollin Withholly A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,400 Amelias Courage A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,100   Wednesday 23rd September Harrahs Philadelphia PA English Rose N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,600 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Harrington Raceway DE Shared Interest A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $7,500   Northfield Park OH Copper Coast A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $4,200   The Meadows PA Hedges Avenue A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,800   Thursday 24th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Sevens Hope A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $8,800 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Friday 25th September Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $23,750   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Miss You N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $14,000   Meadowlands NJ Team Kiwi N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $25,000 Hundie N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Wardan Express A, 3rd Zach Maguire N   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA The Bandit Queen N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $17,000 Tuapeka Jessie N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Saturday 26th September Batavia Downs NY Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $7,500   Freehold Raceway NJ Campora N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $4,800   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Blazen River N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,600 Stars Align A – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $15,500   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $8,000   Northville Downs MI Stening A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $6,500   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Firenglow A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $3,700   Scarborough Downs ME Midnight Dylan N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,200   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Our Corelli N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $8,800 Our Zak Whitby A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,800 Alluneedisfaith A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,200   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Persimmon A – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $24,000   Sunday 27th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:49.3, Stake: $14,400 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $11,600   Dover OH Mackeral A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $1,200   Flamboro Downs CA Marty Monkhouser A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $5,000   Rideau Carleton Raceway CA Darcee N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Delaware, OH - Harness racing driver Dexter Dunn swept both the elims and final of the Jugette. He also swept both divisions of the Buckette en route to a six-win afternoon at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. There were two divisions of the $82,200 (div) Buckette for three-year-old filly trotters and Dunn won them both. Caviart Eva took the first division by two lengths in 1:54 over Hannah (Andy Miller). Nancy Takter trains the Trixon lass for Caviart Farm.   The second $41,100 division went to another Trixon filly Spoiled Princess. Spoiled Princess defeated Deswanslittlelorie (Aaron Merriman) by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.2. Nifty Norman conditions the winner for Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Racing. Dunn is the ten-time New Zealand champion driver, who started driving in the United States full time last year. Standardbred Filly Pace to Fighting Evil The Sweet Lou filly, Fighting Evil (Mike Wilder) took the $39,406 Standardbred filly pace in 1:54.2. Tava (Tim Tetrick) and Always B Laughin (Andy Miller) was second and third. Trainer Daniel Lee Snyder co-owns the filly with Jason Ash of Delaware, Ohio. Treasure Gems K Takes Standardbred Trot Treasure Gems K (Chris Page) broke her maiden in the $43,506 Standardbred two-year-old filly trot in 1:59. Josh Joshing (Andy Miller) and Gothic Girl (Dan Noble) rounded out the trifecta. The Encore Encore filly is trained by Paul Reid for Robert J. Key. World Mark Lower Twice in OBC Three-Year-Old Colt Trot A pair of world records were established in the Ohio Breeders Champioships for three-year-old colt trotters. In the opening division $48,421, It's Academic (Chris Page) lowered the world mark to 1:53.1 with a 3 ½ length victory over Stonefire Us (Dewayne Minor) and Big Box Hanover (Dan Noble). The Uncle Peter colt won for the fourth time in 10 seasonal starts and has amassed just short of $340,000 for Burke Racing Stable, William Donovan, Joe Sbrocco and Hatfield Stables. The record stood for approximately two hours as Action Uncle (Brett Miller) lowered the world mark to 1:52.4 in the second division with 5 ¾ length score over Buxton (Dan Noble). Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the Uncle Peter colt for Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland and Larry Wills.   Action Uncle has been ultra-consistent this season with eight wins and a second in nine 2020 starts. He has won $570,035 for his career. Action Uncle already owned the two-year-old world record that he established last year at the Delaware County Fair. Firsts  There will be a trio of trainers hitching up their first Jug starter in 2020. John Ackley, Carmine Auciello and Eric Mollor all look to make their first Jug start a winning one.  The 28 year-old Austin Siegelman will be driving in his first Jug. Siegelman is nearing 1,600 career wins and $12.7 million in career earnings.  Jug Post Times  The first elimination (Race #15) is scheduled for a 4:56 PM post time. The second elimination (Race #16) should go postward at 5:19 PM. The $335,400 second heat (Race #20) is expected to go at 6:50 PM.  Baldachino to “Perform” on Jug Day  Lexi Baldachino of Millstone, NJ has been selected to virtually perform the National Anthem during the Little Brown Jug’s “Jug Day” broadcast.  Baldachino, 22, studied dance and theatre at Penn State University and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.   She currently lives in NYC and her performing credits include roles in Flashdance: the Musical and The Wedding Singer.   by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

CHESTER, PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Delishka N made a pace-controlling move in front of the stands the first time, then held off a wall of harness racing challengers the second time around to win the $14,400 featured distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon in 1:51. Dexter Dunn sent Delishka N out to early command, yielded to Bettor Joy N, then went onward again when favorite Machnhope made a move just past the :26.1 quarter. Delishka N went back to the lead around Bettor Joy N, with Machnhope, seeing a likely battle for pace control developing, got in a vacant three-hole before the :54.3 half. The winner did not receive a strong challenge past the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but as they neared headstretch, there seemed to be "live" horses everywhere. Delishka N was most "live" of all, holding off inside rallier Machnhope by a half-length, with first-over Shezallapples A showing good determination late to gain third, a photo away from second. Bettors Joy N was beaten less than two lengths and still did not get a check from finishing sixth.   Richard Johnson trains the winner of $387,864 for D'Elegance Stable IX. Still among the older females, the Well Said mare Caviart Cherie made it 3-for-3 since teaming with trainer Darren Taneyhill and the Wildcard Stables Inc., during that time going from the second-lowest condition at Pocono to the second-highest for mares here today, a $11,200 contest in which she posted a 13-1 upset in a new mark of 1:50.4. Joe Bongiorno rallied the winner of $399,947 from the pocket to overhaul pacesetting favorite Anytime N by a length. The $12,800 co-featured fillies and mares pace for the classclimbing crowd saw New Year, who was 7-5 in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake against JK First Lady at Philly recently, enjoy the drop in company here en route to a 1:51.4 triumph as a heavy favorite. George Napolitano Jr. drove the sophomore Somebeachsomewhere filly, who has now amassed $197,415, for trainer Chris Ryder and the partnership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. Tim Tetrick won four races on the day, including with Iaquinta, who broke a 51-race losing streak dating back to June 29, 2018. She came from an unusual spot for winners at Philly, too - fourth-over, with Tetrick keeping her off an overheated pace and then rallying her for the 12-1 victory.  From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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