To watch a race replay of the TVG Open Pace click here.
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.