It was like a walk in the park for Royalty For Life and driver Brian Sears as they strolled their way to victory in the $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Raceway Saturday with an easy two length triumph in 1:52.2, tying the stakes record.
Leaving from post eight it was Corkey and driver Dave Miller who started out with the early lead but that was not for long as Sears had Royalty For Life on the move and they cleared to the front by the opening quarter mile in :27.1.
Sears was able to get a minor breather for his colt as they raced to the half mile in :56.1 and then Royalty For Life kicked into a higher gear and was leading the field by three lengths at the three-quarters in 1:23.4. Punxsutawney and driver Corey Callahan came first-over but it was too late as once Royalty For Life straighten out in the stretch he was leading by five lengths.
Your So Vain and driver Randy Waples was in eighth place on the final turn and they were able to fan out and close well in the stretch to be second to Royalty For Life. All Laid Out (Yannick Gingras) was third.
“I think the track was a little deeper last week,” Sears said after the victory, “And George said he wasn’t 100% and had had a rough week, but he overcame it and was really on his game tonight. It looked like there may be some early speed in the race, but then I figured we would march to the front. He is a beautiful horse and he can cover the ground and he lets you know and when you call on him he is there.”
It was the sixth win in eleven starts for Royalty For Life. The son of RC Royalty is trained by George Ducharme and is co-owned by breeder Alfred Ross with R C Campbell and Paul Fontaine, all of New England.
“He was a touch sick last week,” Ducharme said, “I just wanted to make sure we got in the final and did not abuse him. He had a good week and overcame everything. We checked him out after the race and everything was fine. I was confident he would put on a good showing tonight. I knew when he drew post six that it was a good spot for him and he could get to the lead.
“I knew he would get pressed a bit,” Ducharme explained, “but I knew it would work out because he got a soft half mile and then the rest he did all on his own. He has such a good attitude. He wants to be a good horse. He wants to win all the time. He is very playful, always feeling good. He has that desire that a good horse is born with. Having a horse like this is something you dream about as a kid getting into the sport. It’s a dream come true for me.”
With the winner’s share of the purse at $343,000, Royalty For Life has now surpassed the million dollar mark in earnings in 2013 with $1,227,000 bankrolled. Lifetime he has earnings of $1,560,000. Sent off as the even money favorite, Royalty For Life paid $4.30 to win.
By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com