07/31/2002 11:00PM

Andover Hall favored in Hambletonian


On Saturday at The Meadowlands, 10 3-year-old trotters compete in harness racing's most prestigious race, the $1 million Hambletonian. The Hambletonian is the eighth race on the card, with post time of 2:43 p.m. It will be preceded at the East Rutherford, N.J., track by the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, for 3-year-old filly trotters, which is the sixth race.

The 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Hambletonian is Andover Hall, last year's 2-year-old trotting colt of the year.

"I wouldn't trade places with anyone right now," said Robert Stewart, trainer of Andover Hall.

Andover Hall drew the advantageous inside post and he will be driven by John Campbell, who has won a record five Hambletonians. This is Campbell's 20th consecutive year driving in the Hambletonian, also a record.

The second choice at 7-2 is ENS Snapshot, with Cat Manzi in the sulky. Trained by Russ Croghan, ENS Snapshot leaves from post 8.

Trainer Jimmy Takter, who won the 1997 Hambletonian with Malabar Man, has two in the race. Malabar Maple, driven by Luc Ouellette, and Chipmate, Takter driving, are coupled in the wagering. They are 6-1 on the morning line.

Also in the Hambletonian are Chip Chip Hooray, Duke of York, Really Suspicious, Likely Lad, Taurus Dream, and Like a Prayer.

In the Hambletonian Oaks, My Starchip is the early favorite at 5-2. She will be driven by Eric Ledford.

Gates open Saturday at 9:30 a.m., with first post scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Baseball caps will be given away.

Live coverage of the Hambletonian begins at 2 p.m. on CBS.