Perfect Spirit Crowned Hambletonian Champion Following DQ
Aug 5

A disqualification of What The Hill resulted in original second-place finisher Perfect Spirit being declared the winner of the $1 million Hambletonian final for 3-year-old colt trotters this afternoon at the Meadowlands.

Driven by Ake Svanstedt, Perfect Spirit had cut the mile in the race, putting up fractions of :27.1, :56, and 1:25.1 while parking out Guardian Angel As (Jason Bartlett).

In the stretch What The Hill (David Miller), who had the pocket trip behind Perfect Spirit, angled out and overtook him inside the final sixteenth to win by half a length in 1:52.3, but the inquiry light went on after the horses crossed the finish line.

It became clear on replay that the sulky of What The Hill had struck the right front leg of Guardian Angel As in mid-stretch, knocking that horse off-stride, and leaving the judges no choice but to place the unofficial winner ninth. That elevated Perfect Spirit to the win, Devious Man (Andy Miller) to second, and elimination winner Enterprise (Tim Tetrick) to third.

The other elimination winner, International Moni (Scott Zeron), broke stride before the opening quarter.

"I am very happy. Just now I want to go home and enjoy everything," said Svanstedt. "It's very big."

Perfect Spirit is an Andover Hall colt owned by Lennart Agren's SRF Stable. This was Perfect Spirit's seventh career victory.

Perfect Spirit - Lisa Photo

"This is absolutely unbelievable," said Agren. "He's been developing very good. He's always been hard-headed, but he's developing. I think it's just happiness for me.

"You have to be very lucky like we were today. You have to live in the moment right now."


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