EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Perfect Spirit was awarded the $1 million Hambletonian when first-place finisher What The Hill caused another horse to go off stride in the stretch and was disqualified in trotting's biggest race Saturday.
The judges posted the inquiry sign shortly after the Ron Burke-trained What The Hill crossed the finish line at the Meadowlands in the race for 3-year-old trotters and they deliberated about five minutes before making what is believed to be the first disqualification in the Hambletonian final.
The judges ruled that What The Hill caused Guardian Angel AS to go off stride as he squeezed into a space between the pacesetting Perfect Spirit and Devious Man. Guardian Angel AS was coming up behind the leaders and his front hoof touched the wheel of What The Hill's sulky and went off stride.
Devious Man and Enterprise were moved up to second and third.
What The Hill was placed ninth. International Money, who won one of the eliminations earlier on the card, broke stride early and was last in the 10-horse field.