Royalty For Life crowned Hambletonian champ
August 03, 2013
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Royalty For Life, the morning line favorite following a 1:52 elimination victory earlier in the program, won the $1 million Hambletonian final Saturday at the Meadowlands. Driven by Brian Sears for trainer George Ducharme, the son of RC Royalty took control early and showed his class in the stretch, trotting away from the field in 1:52.1. Smilin Eli and Tim Tetrck finished second, followed by Corky, driven by David Miller. With the victory, Sears completed a sweep of the Hambo and Hambletonian Oaks.
Drawing the rail, a position from which Sears did not want to start, the driver left with Royalty For Life. Tetrick fired from post nine for a forward position, dropping in behind the favorite after a speedy :26.2 first quarter. Spider Blue Chip and Ron Pierce, racing third, moved first over on the backstretch, providing cover for Creatine and Mike Lachance. After a :55 opening half, Royalty For Life turned away the challenge of Spider Blue Chip in the turn (1:23.3), and turning for home the colt looked hard to beat as he trotted away from the field. Smilin Eli, second along the rail, was the best of the rest in second. Aperfectyankee finished fourth in a photo.
Alfred Ross, Raymond Campbell Jr. and Paul Fontaine own Royalty For Life. Ross bred the trotter, now a millionaire with the win. The victory was the first in the Hambletonian for Ducharme. It was the second Hambo win for Sears, who also won in 2009 with Muscle Hill.