EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Royalty For Life, born and raised in Massachusetts and trained by Norfolk's George Ducharme, won harness racing's biggest event on Saturday, going wire-to-wire in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Driven by Brian Sears, Royalty For Life started along the rail in the Hambletonian final, gained the lead by the first turn and expanded the lead in the homestretch to claim the $500,000 top prize.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made the presentation of the trophy to one of Royalty For Life's owners, Al Ross of South Dartmouth, Mass.
"I’m accepting this on behalf of the Boston Red Sox,” Ross quipped.
Royalty For Life finished three and a quarter lengths ahead of Smilin Eli.
"He had the better horse. I felt like I got all I could get," said Smilin Eli driver Tim Tetrick.
Royalty For Life advanced to the final of the 88th Hambletonian after running away with the first elimination race Saturday.
Royalty For Life was born at Courtlin Farm in Belchertown, Mass.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer