Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life, who drew post 1 in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and was the 5-2 morning-line favorite, will scratch from the race, according to trainer George Ducharme.
"It's disappointing," said Ducharme. "This is not how I wanted to cap the year. He is just not himself and I have to put the interest of the horse first. Nothing specific, but he's been so good to us I don't want to take the chance of hurting him. I will get him vetted out this week and see if anything is wrong."
Royalty For Life finished fourth in last weekend's Breeders Crown elim, which followed up his 1-5 finish in the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile on Oct. 6.
"He wasn't himself in the second heat of the Futurity and then after the Breeders Crown elim he just didn't seem like himself."
Royalty For Life has the most earnings this year of any trotter with $1.2 million. All entrants in the race will move down one slot on the starting gate. The number 2 horse, All Laid Out, will now start from the rail on through post 8. All head and betting numbers will remain the same as before the scratch.