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DUNN WINS 4 AT BIG M AFTER BEING NAMED DRIVER OF THE YEAR

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Before the start of Saturday night’s card at The Meadowlands, driver Dexter Dunn was named the United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season in a virtual Dan Patch Awards ceremony that the entire sport could view on the internet or at any simulcast venue.
Then Dunn went out and showed why that considerable amount of hardware sits on his mantle.
The 31-year-old New Zealand product, whose 131 wins during 2020 led all Big M drivers, registered four scores on the 15-race program – after winning three on Friday – to seize control of the top of the Meadowlands’ standings with 15 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting.
Dunn scored with 4-5 favorite Some Chapter in the opener, a high-end conditioned trot, and followed that up by guiding 7-1 shot On Accident to the winner’s circle in the third in a low-end conditioned pace.
Thndrfrmthethron N, the 9-5 second choice, was winner No. 3 in another low-end conditioned pace in the fourth, before Dunn capped his grand slam with 3-2 public choice Italian Delight N in a mid-range conditioned pace in the eighth.
HANDLE TOPS $3 MILLION AGAIN: For a fourth consecutive Saturday, all-source wagering surpassed $3.4 million, as a total of $3,458,896 was put in play.
Over the last four Saturdays, betting at The BIg M has totaled $15,386,226, an average per card of $3,846,556 at the industry’s handle leader.
THARPS IS THE KING: Backers of provisional driver Devon Tharps may not have known that the 27-year-old Ohio native who works for Tony Alagna had never won a pari-mutuel race in his previous 52 tries, and when the second race was over, those who bet him didn’t care either way.
Tharps guided Acting Out to a victory from off the pace in the Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that pays tribute to the civil rights leader that features African-American drivers.
Tharps and Acting Out were fifth at the three-quarter-mile mark before pacing home in :28.3 to upset the field of $12,500 claimers at odds of 9-1, returning $21.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:54.4.
A LITTLE MORE: Shnitzledosomethin worked out a perfect pocket trip and took the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace in 1:49.4 for trainer Dylan Davis and driver Corey Callahan. The 12-1 outsider returned $26.80 to his backers in upping his win streak to three. … Callahan finished the night with three winners. … If you missed the Dan Patch Awards show, you can see it from start to finish by going to The Meadowlands YouTube channel. … Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m.


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