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'Grand' Night For Dunn

Published: January 30, 2021 6:43 am ET

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With so many accolades having come his way over the last two years, driver Dexter Dunn can be forgiven for not being aware he had reached a big career milestone Friday night at The Meadowlands.

The 31-year-old New Zealander, who dreamed as a youngster of playing for the All Blacks, a famous rugby club back in his homeland, was his usual aw shucks self after winning his 1,000th career North American race in the second with Roger Rabbit on a frigid night at The Big M.

“I didn’t know I was close,” Dunn said.

If that’s the case, he probably does not remember that his first win came in June of 2011 with Mcclelland in a high-end conditioned pace at The Big M. Dunn returned home after that season and was not seen back in the States again until 2017. He won 93 races in 2018 before rising to the top of the sport in 2019, winning 460 times for earnings of over $12 million.

Dexter Dunn receives a plaque from The Meadowlands' Jessica Otten in recognition of his 1,000th North American driving win (Lisa Photo)

Then came his remarkable 2020, when he was named the United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season, winning 395 times in a COVID-shortened season while being the only pilot to earn over $10 million, with a bank account that swelled to $11,163,638 by year’s end.

And he wants to do even more in 2021.

“It’s a new season and we’ll start all over again,” Dunn told the United States Trotting Association’s Ken Weingartner. “I always want to do better. It will be hard, but I’m going to try. I’m always up for a challenge. I love a challenge.”

Dunn swept the early double Friday to give his backers a handsome return of $120.00. His two victories gave him 23 at the current meeting, tops in the driver standings. A year ago, he led all Big M pilots with 131 trips to the winner’s circle.


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