Dexter loving Red Mile Kentucky

Dexter loving Red Mile Kentucky

Dexter's first season proper in the USA continues to go from very good to amazing. An already impressive season has been helped further by some fantastic results over the last week as he has been stationed at Red Mile in Kentucky.

To say that Dexter is one of life's over-achievers is almost an understatement. Leaving New Zealand's shores in August 2018, to try something a bit different in the USA, he was hopeful, but not over confident that things may work out for him. Backed by family friend and fellow New Zealander Chris Ryder, things started quietly, but well for Dexter. However, knowing that he had to work hard to properly establish himself, it was driving through the US winter that really saw things take off for Dexter, gaining drives for any number of top American trainers.

Having done the hard yards through the winter and establishing some amazing connections, the respect for Dexter's talent was soon apparent. With Spring racing starting in the US, Dexter snared a number of top drives that have served him well through the current US Harness Season.

First and foremost amongst these is three year old colt Bettor's Wish, trained by Chris Ryder. The leading money-earner in the US this season, Bettor's Wish has been a Grand Circuit star, bankrolling over $1 million US already. With ten wins from just 14 starts this season, he continues to do a super effort and is a 6-5 favourite in the Tattersalls Three Year Open for the colts and geldings for $270,000 US on Monday NZ time. 

The Tony Alagna trained filly Treacherous Reign has been another great drive for Dexter. The winner of the Fan Hanover final on North American Cup Day she was a winner for Dexter at Red Mile last weekend for $163,000 US. She will duel with top filly Warrawee Ubeaut in the $216,000 US feature for the fillies, tomorrow NZ time. 

Millies Possession was Dexter's drive in the Hambletonian Oaks and was a game second behind When Dovescry in what was the first defeat in her career. She too has had an amazing season with ten wins from the 12 starts and has banked just under $500,000 US. She meets that filly again on Monday for $267,000 US.

A real coup for Dexter has been gaining the seat this season behind impressive trotting mare Manchego. Last season's Hambletonian Oaks winner, Manchego was a winner for Dexter on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, leading throughout before winning in stakes record 1.50. However, it was as recently as last Saturday our time that she produced one of the stunning performances of the year, winning at Dayton in a world record time of 1.50.1 for a trotting mare on a 1000m track defeating the males by nine lengths. 

"She just jogged it," said Dexter.

"The plugs were still in and I never had to turn the stick."

Another significant drive has been three year old trotter Soul Strong, his drive in the Kentucky Futurity on Monday our time. After drawing the widest gate in the Hambletonian for the colts and geldings he put in a big run to finish 4th. Ironically on Monday, he will again have to overcome that barrier as he clashes with the likes of Greenshoe and Green Manalishi.

"You wouldn't believe it would you," said Dexter.

"Ten in the Hambo and ten again in this one."

"He is a very good horse though and he is still a chance for sure."

Dexter's winning highlights over the last week:

26 September - El Ideal - $105,000

                            Amigo Volo - $105,500 (World Record)

27 September - Shishito - $83,000

                            Annabelle Hanover - $140,750

                            Margret Hill - $12,500

                            Manchego - $171,250 (World Record)

28 September - Treacherous Reign - $163,100

                            Bettor's Wish - $88,800

3 October - Amigo Volo - $92,100

4 October - Peaky Sneaky - $120,000

As racing started at Red Mile today, Dexter was sitting on $8,400,000 US in earnings for the season. With just under three months to go in the season, you would think that he is likely to break through the $10,000,000 US threshold, in his first full season in the US. To put this in perspective, even in his very best New Zealand season, his best earnings were $2,307,000 in the 2017-2018 sesason. 

In typical Dexter fashion he quickly deflects the success that he has had, acknowledging the kindness of the many Americans that he has met for giving him the platform that he has needed to do well. It is easy to see that he has been embraced as one of the true stars of US Harness. 

Posted: Sat 05 Oct 2019

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