Forbidden Trade wins $1 million Hambletonian at Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Long-shot Forbidden Trade held off heavily favored Greenshoe in the closing strides in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday.

Driven by Bob McClure and trained by Luc Blaise, the 3-year-old colt went the mile in 1:51 in winning trotting's most prestigious race.

The result was totally unexpected with most expecting 27-year-old trainer Marcus Melander to dominate with his highly regarded trip of Greenshoe, Gimpanzee and Green Manalish S all advancing out of the heats earlier on the card to get into the 10-horse final.

McClure, who broke his pelvis in a racing accident in April, made all the right moves to spoil the show in his first Hambletonian drive. He made a first over move in the stretch and took the lead halfway to the wire.

For a split second, it seemed Greenshoe and driver Brian Sears, who was seeking his fourth win in the Hambletonian, were going to pass Forbidden Trade. But the son of Kadabra dug in and got to the finish line first by a neck.

Forbidden Trade, a Kentucky bred who was the Canadian 2-year-old trotter of the year, paid $33.80, $7.60 and $3.80, earning $500,000 for owner Serge Godin and Distinction Capital Inc.

Greenshoe, who won the second heat in 1:50.2, returned $2.60 and $2.10 as the 3-10 favorite. The colt, who trotted the fastest mile this year for a 3-year-old, trailed most of the way before unleashing a late kick.

Gimpanzee, who was undefeated starting the day, finished third with David Miller in the bike and paid $4.

Soul Strong finished fourth and was followed by Green Manalishi S, pacesetter Marseille, Pilot Discretion, Osterc, Cantab Fashion and Don't Let'em, who was trying to make Nancy Johansson the third female trainer to win the race.

Melander won both eliminations with Green Manalishi S and Greenshoe, respectively. Sears drove each of the winners and chose to drive Greenshoe in the final.

Greenshoe won his heat in 1:50.2, winning by two lengths. Green Manalishi got up in the final strides to edge Osterc by a neck. The Swedish-bred trotted the mile in 1:50.3.

Gimpanzee, who was an undefeated favorite heading into the first heat, finished fourth to qualify for the final. Miller picked up the drive.

In the co-featured $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old trotting fillies, When Dovescry took the lead on the backstretch and posted a two-length victory over previously undefeated Millies Possession. Driven by Simon Allard and trained by his brother, Rene, the daughter of Muscle Hill was time in a career-best 1:50.2 and paid $6.60 to win.

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