Nuclear Kosmos

Race Summary

Nuclear Kosmos: Imported Driver Guides Hambo Winner

Trainer Per Henriksen was taking no chances with Nuclear Kosmos in the 61st Hambletonian. He wanted one of the best to handle his colt, so he sent all the way to Norway for four-time world champion Ulf Thoresen.

Henriksen, who was Kosmos��� regular driver and also a native of Norway, had been friends with Thoresen for 25 years. Thoresen had never before driven in, or even seen, a Hambletonian.

Enough three-year-olds were entered to warrant two divisions of the first heat. In the first division, Royal Prestige scored by two lengths over the filly Britelite Lobell and Nevele Typhoon. In the second, Thoresen sent Nuclear Kosmos for the lead from the nine hole, dropped back to third at the top of the stretch, then wore down the leaders to win by a length over Buck Newton in 1:554. Express Ride, the prerace favorite, tired badly in the stretch.

In the second heat, Kosmos again was sent to the lead and had to turn back longshot Speedy Tomali early. Britelite Lobell took up the challenge at the top of the stretch and Royal Prestige, the 4-5 favorite, shook loose a sixteenth out. He was closing on Nuclear Kosmos at the finish, but Kosmos gamely held on. Britelite Lobell was third.

The 40-year-old Thoresen, who had won major races all over Europe, called the Hambletonian victory the biggest thrill of his life.
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