Royalty For Life wins Hambletonian

Posted by Matt Pepin, Staff  August 3, 2013 03:06 PM

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Royalty For Life led wire-to-wire to win the 88th Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack. (Dan Heary/Special to

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.

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For driver Brian Sears (left), it was his second Hambletonian victory. Trainer George Ducharme won his first title. (Dan Heary photo)

“Words can’t describe what this means to me, I never ever thought that I’d be at this spot being a little guy from Massachusetts training a bunch of homebreds and the fact it turned out to be like this is just amazing," Ducharme said.

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.

Pictures: 2013 Hambletonian

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