Greenshoe and Brian Sears entered the 94th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian as the prohibitive favorites. However, it was Forbidden Trade and Bob McClure that got the jump in the stretch Saturday, August 3 at The Meadowlands. Sent off at 15-1 odds, the duo turned on the trot and then held off a hard-charging Greenshoe to win the pinnacle of harness racing in upset fashion. The Kadabra colt, out of millionaire Pure Ivory, is trained by Luc Blais for Determination of Motreal.
Lining up in post six, McClure and Forbidden Trade got away from the gate fourth as Marseille and Ake Svanstedt left from his inside and grabbed the lead. They were soon shuffled by Pilot Discretion, who led the field to a :55 opening half. McClure would sit patiently until Tim Tetrick moved Green Manalishi S from third, providing the valuable cover he needed. Green Manalishi S would take a slight lead at three quarters (1:23.2), and when the field reached the top of the stretch, Forbidden Trade tipped three wide and made his bid for the lead.
Sears had Greenshoe underway four-wide in the stretch, and looked to go by the field, but Forbidden Trade dug in gamely and stayed in front. Gimpanzee and David Miller dove to the inside, closing with every stride to finish a close third. Soul Strong and Dexter Dunn raced fourth.
Bred by Steve Stewart, Forbidden Trade received the O’Brien Award as Canada’s top freshman trotting colt last season. This year, Blais has conditioned the colt to five wins in eight starts. He finished third in his Hambletonian elimination behind Greenshoe and Don’t Let’em. Already a winner of more than $120,000 in 2019, Forbidden Trade now possesses career earnings exceeding $860,000.
The performance lowered the colt’s career mark by more than two seconds. His backers were rewarded handsomely with payouts of $33.80, $7.60 and $3.80.