Grant, Dunn And Campbell Voted Award Winners

Brad Grant, Dexter Dunn and Jim Campbell
Published: December 20, 2022 11:00 am EST

Canadian owner Brad Grant and driver Dexter Dunn, both important components in the success of Bergstein Proximity Award-winning pacer Bulldog Hanover, garnered individual honours in their respective categories through voting for the Dan Patch Awards, presented by Caesars Entertainment. At the same time, Jim Campbell was the choice as Trainer of the Year in the balloting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport’s leading communications organization.

Brad Grant, who won the Woolworth Owner of the Year Award, became a partner in Bulldog Hanover in June of 2021 as the pacer’s season started, one of an innumerable string of good purchases and good horses raced by the owner of 100 or so horses. The resident of Milton, Ont. is a third-generation horseman, with his father John a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame after campaigning the likes of Bettors Delight.

In addition to "The Bulldog," in 2022, Grant was in the ownership of Atlanta, the triple million-winning trotting mare who is retiring after a half-decade in the uppermost ranks of her group. The affable Grant is cognizant of his good fortune and is a vital part of the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge among other philanthropic efforts.

Dexter Dunn relocated to North America from his native New Zealand after dominating the Down Under competition. After his fourth year of fulltime driving here, he has four Driver of the Year awards. And this year was the best of them all in terms of the major money earned by the horses he drives, as he won more than $15 million USD during 2022.

He gained the high-profile seat behind Proximity Award winner Bulldog Hanover and made the most of that plum situation, winning 11 of 12 starts behind the supersonic pacer and, of course, setting the all-time speed standard for harness racing with his 1:45.4 victory in the W.R. Haughton Memorial on Meadowlands Pace night.

"The Bulldog" was one of four Breeders Crown winners that Dunn guided, joining Bella Bellini, Ecurie D DK and Jiggy Jog S, becoming only the fifth driver to twice win four Breeders Crowns in the same year. In all, Dunn won a staggering 59 races with a purse of $100,000 or more. No one could match those credentials during the past season.

Jim Campbell, the winner of the Garnsey Trainer of the Year Award, had a fine UTR for 2022 of .428 and put up his third-best seasonal earnings figure, nearing $2.9 million USD, after starting far few horses than he did in his two best years for earnings.

Campbell earned $750,000 of that lofty earnings figure in the space of two hours on Aug. 6 at The Meadowlands, where he became only the third trainer to send out the winners of the Hambletonian (Cool Papa Bell) and the Hambletonian Oaks (Fashion Schooner) in one year. Fashion Schooner overcame the outside post 10 in the Oaks while in the Hambo Cool Papa Bell overcame 52-1 odds with a big late burst to win the prestigious sophomore trot.

Campbell also campaigned Next Level Stuff, a trotting mare who defeated Trotter of the Year favourite Bella Bellini twice in the Miss Versatility Series, and his Once In A Lifetime was victorious in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old trotting colts. And his 'Big Two' also won their Sire Stakes Championships (Cool Papa Bell in New York, Fashion Schooner in New Jersey).

Brad Grant, Dexter Dunn, and Jim Campbell will be recognized at the 2023 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, presented by Caesars Entertainment, which will honour the best of the best of harness racing, both human and equine. The evening culminates with the announcement of the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year and will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

(With files from USHWA)

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