by Frank Carulli
October 5, 2020
Multi-millionaires Bettor’s Wish and Atlanta turned near-identical trips into Grand Circuit victories in the Dayton Pacing Derby last Saturday at Dayton Raceway in Ohio.
Bettor’s Wish (Dexter Dunn) parlayed a perfect journey off cover in the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby. He tipped 3-wide at the top of the stretch and out-kicked a fast-closing Dancin Lou (Brian Sears) and troubled pocket sitter Century Farroh (David Miller) for a one-length victory in 1:49.
Bettor’s Wish angled out from fifth early to follow Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith) most of the way on the 5/8-mile oval. He surged to command in early stretch while Dancin Lou rallied to his outside and Century Farroh found running room after he was slowed by tiring pace setter Ocean Rock (Dan Noble) turning for home.
He padded his bankroll to $2.2 million, emerging in a field that was a combined 184-439 (42 percent) heading into the race. Bettor’s Wish paid $5.80 to win.
It was the second Grand Circuit stakes victory on the card for Dunn, who earlier guided Kissin In The Sand past reigning Horse of the Year Shartin N to win the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby in 1:49, the same time Bettor’s Wish ran on the speedy surface.
Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) followed a path similar to Bettor’s Wish en route to a track record-setting 1:51 performance in the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby. One of four fillies in the nine-horse field, Atlanta flushed out Majestic Player (Brett Miller) before the half-mile marker and followed that rival until she angled 3-wide on the final turn to go after pace setter Manchego (Dunn), the 5-to-2 second favorite. Atlanta, the even-money favorite, was on her way to a 4-1/4 length victory when Manchego went off stride in the stretch. Pocket sitter Lindy The Great (Andy Miller) seized the moment to finish second.
Atlanta is now 24-48 lifetime with $2.4 million in earnings.
‘TWILIGHT’ RUNS INTO MINNESOTA SPOTLIGHT
Twilight Tinker became the first horse to win three years in a row on Minnesota’s Day of Champions. She left little doubt, winning the championship for older trotting and mares Saturday at Running Aces racetrack by 2-1/4 lengths, one of five winners on the card for driver Nick Roland.
Stuckey Dote also made history, winning his fourth Minnesota championship on the single richest day of harness racing in the state. He won the older male pacing championship for driver Darrell Wright in 1:54.