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Canada's Hambletonian Hopeful

Published: August 1, 2019 9:15 pm ET

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Ontario-based Hambletonian hopeful Forbidden Trade has a demeanour as secretive as his name.

“He’s very cool, and so quiet in the barn, sometimes we check to make sure he’s not sick,” said trainer Luc Blais. “He doesn`t have a nickname; it’s usually the lively ones that have nicknames. He’s very easy on himself.”

On a racetrack, however, the son of Kadabra puffs up nicely.

Forbidden Trade was Canada’s champion two-year-old trotting colt in 2018 and he’s carried his form into 2019. His six starts this year have produced four wins and two seconds, and he lowered his career mark to 1:53.1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. He’s also flashed more early zip than as a two-year-old, improving his tactical options.

Blais believes the Ontario Sires Stakes star is up to the task of facing the best three-year-old trotting colts on the continent in the 94th Hambletonian on Saturday (August) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Having drawn Post 1 in the eight-horse second elimination didn’t hurt, either.

“You need to be in the race to have a chance,” said Blais. “He’s a good horse, he’s healthy and he’s followed the program. He’s faced those kinds of horses before (in the Valley Victory at the Meadowlands at two and the Goodtimes at Mohawk at three) and he’s been competitive. The driver (Ontario star Bob McClure) knows him. I have a good feeling (about Saturday).”

Blais’ previous Hambo entrant, Jake, didn`t make the final in 2017.

A $110,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, Forbidden Trade is closing in on $500,000 in career earnings for Montreal racing powerhouse Determination Stable.

Determination also will be represented by another Canadian champion on Saturday’s card. Millionaire mare Emoticon Hanover will face the likes of Hannelore Hanover and Darling Mearas S in the $186,000 John Steele Memorial trot. The six-year-old has collected almost $100,000 this season to boost her career total past $1.7 million.

The top five finishers from each of the Hambletonian’s opening-heat divisions will return later in the race card to contest the $1-million final (post time 5:14 p.m.). The final will be featured during a live broadcast that will be aired on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

The post positions for the Hambletonian’s opening-heat divisions appear below.

Heat 1 – Elimination 1
Post-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line Odds
1-Cantab Fashion-Scott Zeron-Jim Campbell-6/1
2-Summit In Sight-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-20/1
3-Swandre The Giant-David Miller-Ron Burke-7/2
4-Soul Strong-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt-8/1
5-Mr Vicktor-Tyler Buter-Jennifer Lappe-15/1
6-Osterc-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom-15/1
7-Gimpanzee-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-2/1
8-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander-5/2

Heat 1 – Elimination 2
Post-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line Odds
1-Forbidden Trade-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-12/1
2-Gerry-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-20/1
3-Pilot Discretion-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna-10/1
4-Reign Of Honor-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman-20/1
5-Greenshoe-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-4/5
6-Dont Letem-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson-4/1
7-Super Schissel-Scott Zeron-Per Engblom-10/1
8-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-5/1

Important Links:

Saturday Entries – Meadowlands Racetrack

2019 Hambletonian Day Program Pages

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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