Bologna, June 28, 2021 – Trevor Dare and Jerseys Baby Driver flew into the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the 6666 NRHA Open Derby Level 4 finals with a mission on their mind.
From the first maneuver, the crowd was on their feet. From that first sliding stop to the last, the crowd stayed behind Dare and his talented equine partner. The crowd knew what they were witnessing—and the judges agreed. When it was all said and done Dare topped the field with a 226.5.
«This is the best feeling», Dare said after his win. «I knew I needed to be perfect, stay out of his way, and just put him in the right spot and he would take care of the rest».
Jerseys Baby Driver was picture perfect the entire run, but his stops were standout moments—an attribute Dare agrees is a strong suit. «He’s a really big stopper, so when we ran through the gate, I was really focused on making sure that we could nail that first stop», he said. «He’s almost like a powerlifter when he runs and stops. It’s like he tries to make the earth shake. It’s a crazy feeling».
While Dare knew he could count on the 5-year-old stallion, by Yellow Jersey out of Wind Her Up Chic, to show up in the stops, he was careful to not lose focus during the rest of the run.
«At the NRBC we had gotten in a bit of a hurry starting our first turns, so that was a spot I knew I needed to focus, and again he was right there», he said. «I did my job, and he did his. It was a team effort out there. From start to finish the harder I pushed the more he gave me».
Jerseys Baby Driver has been with Dare since he was a yearling after owner Janice Laney purchased him out of the Legacy Sale. The colt was started by Damian Rico as a 2-year-old and then Dare took the reins. The pair have been climbing to the top of the field ever since and sharing a special bond along the way.
«Main difference between a good horse and a great horse is the size of their heart, and he has a big one» Dare said. «I always believed in him and always knew it would get there; that we just had to put it together. You ask any of the professionals out here it is hard to do, so it feels great to put it together at the same time».
Before the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, Dare’s lifetime earnings were $644,000, and the $75,000 Championship check has pushed him past the $700,000 mark.
«I think the payout is great and it’s another way to promote our business and horses» he said. «It gives us more money to run at and really supports the growth of our industry. Thank you to the 6666 Ranch».
The Derby championship is a significant boost for anyone’s career. And while Dare is grateful and truly excited for the win, he’s humble enough to recognize that each show is a new day.
«Obviously it’s a good thing, but tomorrow it will be over with, and we will start getting ready for the next one» he said.
Dare thanked his wife, team and clients for their support and encouragement not only in Oklahoma City but throughout his entire career.
«My wife manages and organizes my whole life. My customers will agree if you take me out of the saddle. I’m pretty much worthless» Dare said with a laugh. «Thank you to Janice Laney for continuing to believe in me when we have been so close. Thank you to my whole team that works for me. I couldn’t have made it through this week or this year without them. They keep everything rolling».