08/02/2007 12:00AM

Faceoff in Hambletonian


Donato Hanover, the dominant colt, and Pampered Princess, a very talented filly, square off Saturday in the $1.5 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old Standardbreds at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The "battle of the sexes" theme adds spice to the world's most famous trotting race. Post time is 4:15 p.m. with live coverage on NBC starting at 3:30 Eastern. A Standardbred-Thoroughbred daily double will be offered on the Hambletonian and Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Donato Hanover, the even-money favorite, finished third in his debut last year. He has been flawless ever since, winning 12 straight, including four this season. He trotted a career-best mile in 1:53.20 to capture one of the three eliminations last weekend that trimmed the field to 10.

Ron Pierce, who won the 1993 Hambo with American Winner, will drive for trainer Steve Elliott.

Thirteen fillies have wonthe Hambletonian, with Continental-victory the most recent in 1996.

The winner of five straight, Pampered Princess was the fastest elimination winner in 1:53. She is the 3-1 second choice. Rising star Tim Tetrick, the 25-year-old driver who leads the nation in wins, will make his Hambo debut for trainer Jimmy Takte.

Adrian Chip, owned by hockey star Peter Forsberg, took the other elimination and is 5-1 on the morning line.