Northfield, OH – Dexter Dunn hails from Down Under in New Zealand and traveled to the United States less than a year ago. He had never been to MGM Northfield Park, but arrived on Saturday (Aug. 10) full of confidence to drive race favorite Bettor’s Wish in the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. He went to the gate on the heels of losing two straight photos in the $682,650 Meadowlands Pace and $285,362 Cane Pace.
Bettor’s Wish started from post three and went to the lead around the initial turn. He set pedestrian fractions of :28.2 and :57.
“I was happy when I saw the fractions,” admitted Dunn. “If we would have got beaten from there, it would have been a rough night. The fractions were pretty slow, but it all pays the same.”
Dunn urged Bettor’s Wish in the third quarter and he responded, posting times of 1:24.1 and 1:50.3. The colt pulled away by 3-1/2 lengths from his closest competitor, Captain Victorious (Yannick Gingras).
Saturday’s victory is the 11th score for Bettor’s Wish. The win makes the Chris Ryder trainee harness racing’s newest millionaire, pushing his earnings to $1,096,600.
Following in succession after Bettor’s Wish were Captain Victorious, Century Farroh, Yankee Boots, Southwind Ozzi, Rockie Got Framed and Workin Ona Mystery. American Mercury was scratched sick.
Bettor’s Wish returned 3.80 to win.
The race was in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. It is the richest invitational event in harness racing for pacers.
Two races prior to the main event, Dancin Yankee captured his fourth straight $50,000 Myron Charna President’s Pace. The Ohio-sired event by invitation began in 2016.
Dancin Yankee left from the gate, initially taking the lead before letting the heavy favorite, Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith), reclaim the top just past the :26.2 opening quarter. He received the garden trip through times of :54.4 and 1:21.3 before making his move in the stretch and winning by a half-length in 1:49.2. The clocking equaled Northfield’s track record for 5-year old and up pacers, set by All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) in 2017.
Ron Burke trains Dancin Yankee for the Burke Racing Stable. Chris Page was in the bike.