Dunn Discusses Fourth Driving Title And Top Talent

Dexter Dunn
Published: March 2, 2023 12:31 pm EST

Dexter Dunn has been named the Dan Patch Driver of the Year four times in just four years driving full-time in the U.S.

The Christchurch, New Zealand native sat down with The Meadowlands host Dave Little during a recent edition of "In The Sulky" following his big Dan Patch Award weekend to discuss his quick rise to fame on the North America racing scene.

"I pinch myself a little bit," said Dunn when speaking about his instant success in the U.S. "It's really an honour to be honest and I've just been lucky. I've driven some amazing horses over the time since I've been here and I've just got to try to keep that rolling now."

A top New Zealand driver before moving to the U.S. in the mid 2010s, Dunn made the transition with apparent ease. When asked about acclimatizing to the North American racing style, Dunn referenced a short U.S. driving stint back in 2011 but was quick to credit one key factor: "Horsepower."

"I don't know, once you get on the track, it's hard to explain it, but you just by go by your gut, go by your feel and rock on," he added.

Dunn has rocked the racing world, coming off a career-year earning nearly $16 million in purses with top mounts including 1:45.4 world champion Bulldog Hanover, who was named Horse of the Year on both sides of the border.

Reflecting on the first time he sat behind the speedy superstar in June at The Meadowlands, Dunn said he knew instantly the horse was special.   

"Before I got on him, he already had a great record, but yeah, he felt amazing the first night I raced him. Just his raw power -- the feeling he gave you when you sat behind him -- you could really feel it."

And heading into the historic edition of the William R. Haughton Memorial Stakes on July 16, he figured the powerhouse pacer had a chance to break the all-time world record.

"Obviously, the three miles here leading up to that were spectacular... I knew he had it in him and I thought the track was so beautiful that night -- it was fast -- and he did the work, he did the rest."

With Bulldog Hanover now retired to stud, Dunn said he is looking forward to driving the likes of Tattoo Artist and Niki Hill this year.

Dunn also discussed award-winning trotter Bella Bellini, one of his childhood gigs and early rugby aspirations as well as driving strategy. The full interview can be viewed below.