DEXTER SETTLES FOR PLACINGS IN BIG RACES & MINOR WIN ON BIG M CARD
NZ whiz Dexter Dunn was unable to win one of the big TVG races on the $2.8 million Meadowlands card in New Jersey on Sunday, but placed in three of them, for another healthy $300,000 payday.
He finished the weekend having driven the winners of $11,333,898 in purses, moving to 403 wins, 318 seconds, and 314 thirds, from 2406 drives.
Tim Tetrick still leads the way on the top driver earnings on $14,891,962 (from 700 wins), ahaed of Yannick Gingras, on $12,944,660 (from 378 wins), with Dexter Dunn a clear third ahead of Jason Bartlett on $9,736,615 (with 465 wins).
Dexter and top 3YO colt Bettor’s Wish had to settle for second in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace Final, but not to top aged free-for-aller, McWicked, who finished unplaced in his final race.
Victory went to 4YO Always A Prince, who led from the eight barrier for Yannick Gingras, and won easily by 4 3/4 lengths in 1:48.2 (fifths).
This was his fourth win in 18 start for the year, for $362,835. He has won 23 of 40 lifetime starts for $855,710.
Bettor’s Wish, who settled fifth, led the chase for Dexter, with a strong closing quarter in 26.1s., the same fraction as the winner returned in front.
Dexter also had to settle for second with top trot mare Manchego in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot Final.
Manchego, the only mare in the field, had to play the iron horse after being left parked from the five draw, fighting well but finding 4YO Muscle Mass entire Six Pack, and trainer-driver Ave Svanstedt, from the ace finishing best from the trail to win in 1:50.
Dexter also picked up good place money in the $175,000 TVG Mares Final, which resulted in a surprise defeat of top NZ-bred mare Shartin for the second time in their last two meetings by rival, Caviart Ally.
Caviart Ally (5m Bettor’s Delight), trained by expatriate Kiwi Brett Pelling, and driven by Australian Andrew McCarthy, settled handy and nosed out Shartin, who tried to lead over the last half-mile, in 1:48.3 (fifths).
Kissin In The Sand, and Dexter, burned to an early lead, before handing to Shartin, and fought on for third, 2 1/2 lengths away.
Dexter was luckless with hot favourite, Breeders Crown 2YO champ, Amigo Volo, who became unbalanced from the two gate and broke stride just before the start of the $505,000 Valley Victory 2YO colts and geldings Trot Final.
Amigo Volo was unable to recover with victory going to another Ake Svanstedt-trained trotter in El Ideal, a Muscle Hill colt, driven by Andy Miller, who won in 1:53.2 (fifths).
Dexter was also out of play with a break behind the Svanstedt-trained Darling Meares S, from the five draw against only four others in the $175,000 TVG Mares Trot Final
They tailed the five-horse field as Emoticon Hanover, and Daniel Dube, upset front-running favourite Atlanta in 1:51.4 (fifths).
Dex put Queen Of The Hill, forward to trail from the five barrier in the $411,000 Goldsmith Maid 2YO Fillies Trot Final, battling away for fifth to Senorita Rita, who won in 1:53 for driver Scott Zeron, and trainer Linda Toscano.
He finished last in the $411,000 TVG 2YO Fillies Diamond Pace Final with outsider Baby Your The Best, the race being won by the Nancy Johansson-trained Western Ideal filly JK First Lady, and driver Yannick Gingras, in 1:49.2 (fifths).
However, he did get another win in a lesser $22,500 pace with NZ-bred Franco Totem (6g Changeover-Treaty Franco, by Badlands Hanover-There’s A Franco) for the Richard “Nifty” Norman stable.
Franco Totem, from the six barrier, settled fourth, led turning for home, and held in a career best 1:50. This was his second win in six USA starts for the year, while he’s also been three times placed.
Dexter notched three wins on the Saturday night (NZ time) regular progamme at the Meadowlands, including a win in a $12,500 pace with former NZ pacer Whittaker in 1:52.2 (fifths).
HUNDIE AND RAUKAPUKA RULER SCORE AT YONKERS
Over the bridge at the Yonkers meeting in New York on Sunday (NZ time), former Kentuckiana Lodge pacers, Hundie and Raukapuka Ruler, notched wins.
Hundie (5g Bettor’s Delight-Zagami), now trained by Nik Drennan and driven by Eric Goodell, trailed early from the ace, moved out parked at the three-quarters an won by a nose, wearing down former Allstars pacer Stars Align in 1:52.2 (fifths).
This was just his second win in 20 starts for the year, but he’s been consistent, placing 12 times, for earnings of over $67,850.
Former Northern Derby winner Raukapuka Ruler staged a big finish for his second win in four USA starts for the Peter Tritton stable, and driver, Jordan Stratton.
The Bettor’s Delight-Miss Elsie gelding was back from the seven barrier until improving near the home turn in his $27,000 pace.
Raukapuka Ruler stormed home to win by a length in 1:52.3 (fifths)
Former NZ Cup runner-up Jack’s Legend notched his seond win in as many weeks for the Richard Banca stable in a $35,000 preferred pace at Yonkers, finishing best from fifth for driver Jason Bartlett to win by a head in 1:51.2 (fifths).
Meanwhile, Bit Of A Legend, after taking a trail from the ace, then moving out parked, failed to catch Somewhere in LA by a nose in a $22,000 pace in 1:52.1 (fifth) as the 10-year-old $2.5 million winner winds down his race career.