Trainer Ake Svanstedt has top two choices in Hambletonian

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Captain Corey is the 3-1 favorite and stablemate Delayed Hanover is the 7-2 second choice in the $1 million Hambletonian final on Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Captain Corey and Delayed Hanover, both trained by Ake Svanstedt, won the two elimination divisions last week. The first five finishers in each elimination race advanced to the one-mile final for 3-year-old trotters.

Svanstedt also qualified a third horse, Ambassador Hanover, a 15-1 longshot from post 9.

The two winners were guaranteed inside posts and drew for the first five slots on Tuesday. The remaining posts were determined by random draw.

Delayed Hanover got the rail; Captain Corey landed post 4.

Svanstedt is looking for his second Hambletonian win, having been awarded the 2017 trophy with Perfect Spirit when What The Hill finished first but was disqualified for interference.

Svansted drove Captain Corey in his elimination victory and felt the horse was back in top form.

“We had a little problem with him this spring, but I think he was still growing a lot,” Svansted said. “I think that was his problem. He didn’t have the same gait. Last Saturday, it was the old Corey again. I think he can be even more sharp this week.”

Trainer Nancy Takter also has three entrants in the race, including Really Fast at 5-1 from post 7. She also sends out 15-1 shots Spy Booth (post 3) and Locatelli (post 5).

Takter, the daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter who trained four Hambletonian winners, is looking for her first victory in the race.

The Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters will air live on CBS Sports Network.

The field for the Hambletonian final in post position order with listed drivers and odds: Delayed Hanover, Dexter Dunn, 7-2; Take All Comers, David Miller, 12-1; Spy Booth, Tim Tetrick, 15-1; Captain Corey, Svanstedt, 3-1; Locatelli, Andy McCarthy, 15-1; Sonofamistery, Brian Sears, 4-1; Really Fast, Dexter Dunn, 5-1; Venerate, Andy Miller, 8-1; Ambassador Hanover, Svanstedt also listed, 15-1; Cuatro De Julio, Lucas Wallin, 10-1.

Official driver assignments will be finalized later in the week.

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