Dunn reunites with Bettor Joy
By Frank Drucker, Yonkers Raceway
When Dexter Dunn left New Zealand to try his driving luck stateside, he didn’t necessarily think he’d be seeing an old flame.
Such is the romance of Yonkers Raceway’s Blue Chip Matchmaker…where even the two- and four-legged can become an item.
In the case of Dunn, his ‘old flame’ is Bettor Joy N, who did a pretty fair job racing in the long shadow cast by her stablemate, defending series champion Shartin N.
Bettor Joy N, who landed post position No. 5 in Sunday morning's (NZ Time) $401,600 final for Free-For-All ladies, enters off three consecutive preliminary-round wins. For the season, the 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor’s Delight has won four of her six races ($85,030) for co-owners Jo Ann Looney-King, Richard Poillucci & Tim Tetrick (aka Shartin N’s date) and trainer Jim King Jr.
Shartin N is directly outside in post No. 6, looking to become the first mare to win this series twice.
“I drove her as a 3- and 4-year-old and she did a good job,” Dunn said of Bettor Joy N. “She made about $200,000 racing against some good mares (fillies).
“She had the speed and the attitude, and obviously, was very good in the heats here (Yonkers).
Dunn laughed the laugh of someone asked a rhetorically-inane question of how long it took him to accept this catch-drive from the trainer.
“I’ve seen her races and spoken with Tim (Tetrick) about her, and he’s been pleased. This is going to be her toughest test, since she hasn’t had to race Shartin (N). Tetrick drove Bettor Joy N through the prelims.
As for starting directly inside of Shartin N in the final, “I haven’t really thought about it and probably won’t until later in the week.
“You try and have a plan, but once the gates opens, it doesn’t always go that way,” Dunn said.
“I’m just happy to have a shot at it.”
The 11th Matchmakers goes as race No. 9 during Yonkers’ dozen-race card Along with the $662,800 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (11th race), they are by far 2019’s richest North American harness races to date.
The Matchmaker draw:
1-Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley),
2-Apple Bottom Jeans (Corey Callahan),
3-Feelin’ Red Hot (George Brennan),
4-Don’t Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett),
5-Bettor Joy N (Dexter Dunn),
6-Shartin N (Tim Tetrick),
7-Ideal Lifestyle A (Driver TBA),
8-Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.).