Major Occasion A best in Meadowlands feature
January 18, 2020
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Last Friday, Major Occasion A flew home in :25.3, but because she was eighth at three-quarters while three wide, had to settle for second at the hands of rival Sandy Win, who would win a third straight start.
Driver Dexter Dunn made sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
Major Occasion A, instead of racing from well off the pace as she had in her first two North American outings, was hustled to the top at the half this time around and had little trouble from there, recording an easy score in the Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, a $25,000 high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares.
Dunn, who would go on to win four times on the program after his incredible seven-winner night last Saturday, had Major Occasion A in the four-hole early before brushing up to take command at the half while parked before settling in on the point.
Ideal Lifestyle A was left first-over at this point while applying token pressure as Major Occasion A used a :27.1 third quarter to maintain a safe 1½-length lead on the pocket-sitting Odds On St Lucie.
Through the stretch, no one threatened the 1-2 favorite, who reported home an easy 1¾-length winner in 1:51 after pacing her final half in 54.2. Odds On St Lucie held second with Wisdom Tree rallying for third. Sandy Win failed in her bid for a fourth straight score, settling for fourth after racing three-wide at three-quarters from mid-pack.
Major Occasion A, a 6-year-old daughter of Art Major-Fake Occasion who is trained by Nifty Norman, returned $3.00 to her backers and has now won 16 times from 51 lifetime starts for owners Enzed Racing Stable. Her earnings stand at $193,280.
For Dunn, it was merely another day at the salt mine, with one – make that two – exceptions. The 30-year-old New Zealand native did score with the heavy favorite in the feature and with 4-1 Hammer Time in a mid-range conditioned trot, but he also won with a pair of longshots.
The 2019 United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year guided 20-1 Bold Goddess to victory lane in a low-end conditioned trot and also scored with the night’s biggest price of the night with 26-1 chance Auteur Hanover, who hit the wire first in another low-end conditioned trot.
Dunn now has 18 winners at the winter meeting and is well in front of Corey Callahan, whose driving double gave him 10 victories, good for second in the driver standings.
Yannick Gingras is apparently not interested in Dunn running away with the drivers' title, as the Big M overall driver champ from 2019 also guided four to the winner’s circle.
One sharp player betting into the Oregon Express hub held the only ticket to last five legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $8,596.70. The wager has now paid at least $3,526.86 during each of the last five race cards. Chalk players took it on the chin most of the night as only two favorites won over the first 12 races, which helped bolster the payouts of the 50-cent Pick-5 ($6,292.35) and 50-cent Pick-4 ($3,155.05). All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,416,176. (Meadowlands)