After one of the favorites, Eilean Donon, driven by David Miller, made a break at the start. Tom Ridge, with Ron Pierce in the sulky, took the lead at the quarter pole, cutting fractions of 28.2, 57.2, and 1:26.3. Cash Hall and driver John Campbell came first-over on the backstretch to pressure Tom Ridge, with Windsong's Legacy sitting comfortably in the second-over position until he tipped clear in the lane for a brush to the front. Cantab Hall with Mike Lachance driving, raced sat second for much of the mile, covered by Tom Ridge, and was able to finish second. Cash Hall, who tired in his battle with the early leader, faded and finished third, just ahead of Coventry, driven by Doug R. Ackerman. Favorite Tom Ridge finished eighth and Eilean Donon completed the course and finished 10th and last.
While catch-drivers have dominated the sport, Trond Smedshammer became the first driver-trainer to win the Hambletonian since Stefan Melander won with Scarlet Knight in 2001. "It means everything to me," Norwegian-born Smedshammer said. "It hasn't sunk in as of yet. I was actually considering getting around Cash Hall to avoid excess cover, but when one horse [Lantern's Law] made a break I decided to stay inside."
Windsong's Legacy, who was an orphan foal at birth, was bred in Pennsylvania by Windsong Stable. His win was his fifth in seven starts this year, and he has now earned $876,324, lifetime.
A race earlier, Jorgen Jahre's Silver Springs and driver George Brennan made a move to the lead on the final turn and sprinted to victory in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks Final for three-year-old trotting fillies.
After a knot of horses raced three-wide to the quarter pole in 27.4, driver John Campbell brought Peaceful Way to the lead on the backstretch, and they set the next two fractions of 56 and 1:25.1, before Silver Springs worked her way to the front, drawing off in a mile in 1:53.3. Housethatruthbuilt [Brian Sears], who had found cover behind the winner, finished strongly and was second at the wire, edging out Self Indulgent [David Miller], who passed tired horses and finished third.
Silver Springs won her second race of the year, and gave trainer Jan Johnson his sixth victory in the Hambletonian Oaks, more than any other trainer. Her $250,000 first place check pushed her lifetime earnings to $431,420. "She has always been there from her first stakes race to the last," Johnson said. "I though she was going to get into the flow, and when you keep after her she keeps digging. She's going to go in the [filly division of the] World Trotting Derby."