08/03/2005 11:00PM

Top two adjacent in Hambletonian


Classic Photo and Vivid Photo, winners of their elimination heats, will start side by side Saturday afternoon in the $1.5 million Hambletonian for trotters at The Meadowlands Racetrack. The Hambletonian begins the biggest weekend in New Jersey racing, which culminates Sunday with the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Classic Photo, a winner of five straight, is the 6-5 morning-line favorite from post 5 in the richest renewal of the famed trotting stakes for 3-year-olds.

Vivid Photo, an upset winner last week, is the 7-2 second choice, starting from post 6.

The field was settled last week in a pair of elimination heats that trimmed 17 entrants down to 10 finalists.

The Hambletonian, to televised on CBS from 2 to 3 p.m., is part of a cross-breed double with the Haskell. First post is 11:30 a.m.

The Hambletonian comes on closing day of the Standardbred season at The Meadowlands. Live racing resumes when Thoroughbreds return on Sept. 30 and run through Nov. 12.