Born 1858, “wild as a hawk and always coming to grief.” But his speed was so great and trotting action so perfect that he was sold for $400 as an unbroken 4-year-old. Making his debut as a racehorse on May 4, 1864 he won in straight heats. In 1865, Dexter lost only once, to Lady Thorn. In 1866, he won 25 of 26 starts. The next year, he beat the great Goldsmith Maid and then won five successive races against Lady Thorn. On July 30, 1867, Dexter won in 2:19, thereby setting the world record, which was previously 2:19-3/4 set by Flora Temple in 1859. Two weeks later, he trotted 2:17-1/4 in Buffalo to further lower the record. After three more wins, he retired. Dexter was purchased in September 1867 by Robert Bonner for $35,000 and was Mr. Bonner’s favorite road horse. In 1868, pulling 319 pounds of wagon and driver, Dexter trotted a mile in 2:21-3/4, according to the New York Times. Dexter died April 21, 1888.
“Hurrah for Dexter! Long live the horse of the century!” Scribner’s Magazine
Broke world record twice: 2:19 and 2:17 1/4 in 1867.