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.