Messenger Stakes

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Messenger Stakes
Triple Crown race
Location Yonkers, New York,
 United States
Inaugurated 1955
Race type Harness race for standardbred pacers
Website www.hambletonian.org/staking/messenger_stake.html
Race information
Distance 1 mile
(1,609 meters or 8 furlongs)
Surface Dirt, half-mile oval
Track Yonkers Raceway
Qualification 3yo
Purse $500,000 (2014)

The Messenger Stakes is an American harness racing event for 3-year-old pacing horses.[1] It was organized in 1956 at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York (on suburban Long Island) to join with the Cane Pace and the Little Brown Jug to create the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers. The race is named in honor of Messenger (1780–1808), a horse foaled in England and later brought to the United States. As a sire, virtually all harness horses in the U.S. can be traced back to Messenger.

One of the preeminent events for harness racing horses in North America, the race was held annually at Roosevelt Raceway until it closed down in 1988. From 1988 to 1994, the race changed locations several times, from Yonkers Raceway (Yonkers, New York) to Freestate Raceway to Rosecroft Raceway (both in Maryland). In 1995, it moved to The Meadows Racetrack in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. In 2004, the race was supposed to be moved back to Yonkers Raceway, however, due to construction at the track, the race was moved to Harrington Raceway in Delaware, where the event was held in 2004 and '05. The race moved back to Yonkers Raceway in November 2006. The 2015 edition was raced at Yonkers on September 5 for a total purse of US$500,000.[2]

Much like the Little Brown Jug, the Messenger was raced in heat events, meaning a horse had to win an elimination heat and the final on the same day to be declared the winner. Starting from 2006 at Yonkers, there will be eliminations, if necessary, one week prior to the event.

Locations[edit]

Records[edit]

Most wins by a driver
  • 8 – John Campbell (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2004)
Most wins by a trainer
  • 8 – Billy Haughton (1956, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1985)
Stakes record
  • 1:50 3/5 – Allamerican Ingot (2002)

Messenger Stakes winners[edit]

Year
Winner
Driver
Trainer
Owner
Time
Purse
2016 Racing Hill Brett Miller Tony Alagna Tom Hill 1:53 0/0 $500,000
2015 Revenge Shark Yannick Gingras Tony Alagna Alagna Racing & Bradley Grant 1:53 1/5 $500,000
2014 All Bets Off Matt Kakaley Ron Burke Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, et al. 1:51 1/5 $500,000
2013 Ronny Bugatti Jason Bartlett Allan Johnson Eric Prevost, Bridget McNeese, Tom Haughton 1:51 4/5 $450,000
2012 Bolt The Duer Mark J. MacDonald Peter Foley All Star Racing Inc. (John Como Sr. & Jr.) 1:51 2/5 $415,820
2011 Roll With Joe Ronald Pierce Edward Hart Winbak Farm, Blue Chip Bloodstock, et al. 1:52 4/5 $401,000
2010 Rock N Roll Heaven Daniel Dubé Bruce Saunders Frank Bellino 1:51 4/5 $437,100
2009 If I Can Dream Tim Tetrick Tracy Brainard Bulletproof Enterprises 1:52 2/5 $542,060
2008 Somebeachsomewhere Paul MacDonell Brent MacGrath Schooner Stables 1:52 1/5 $650,000
2007 Always A Virgin Brian Sears Joe Holloway Bluestone Farms, et al. 1:52 0/0 $725,480
2006 Palone Ranger Ronald Pierce Gregory Peck Four Friends & Perretti Racing Stables LLC 1:54 3/5 $546,830
2005 Gryffindor David Miller Brendan Johnson Jim Winske, Bill Donovan, Milt Leeman 1:52 0/0 $218,475
2004 Metropolitan John Campbell Christopher J. Ryder Norman &Gerald Smiley 1:52 2/5 $340,950
2003 No Pan Intended David Miller Ivan Sugg Peter Pan Stables Inc. (Robert Glazer) 1:52 4/5 $252,945
2002 Allamerican Ingot David Miller Robert McIntosh Robert Waxman 1:50 3/5 $260,610
2001 Bagel Beach Boy Luc Ouellette Jim Campbell Lloyd F. Arnold 1:52 1/5 $254,385
2000 Ain't No Stoppin' Him John Campbell Joe Holloway John & Patricia Celli 1:52 3/5 $323,421
1999 Blissfull Hall Ronald Pierce Benjamin Wallace Daniel Plouffe 1:51 1/5 $347,760
1998 Fit For Life John Campbell Brett Pelling Brittany Farms & Val D'Or Farms 1:52 2/5 $387,380
1997 Western Dreamer Michel Lachance Nathaniel C. Varty Matthew, Patrick & Daniel Daly 1:51 3/5 $331,300
1996 Go For Grins Dave Palone Christopher J. Ryder 1:52 2/5 $333,080
1995 David's Pass John Campbell Brett Pelling RJS Stable 1:52 4/5 $328,825
1994 Cam's Card Shark John Campbell William G. Robinson Jeffrey S. Snyder 1:51 0/0 $342,595
1993 Riyadh Jim Morrill, Jr. William G. Robinson R. Peter Heffering 1:52 2/5 $328,305
1992 Western Hanover William Fahy Gene Riegle George Segal 1:53 1/5 $366,750
1991 Die Laughing Richard Silverman Roger Goldstein Alnoff Stable & Val D'Or Farms 1:51 1/5 $475,000
1990 Jake And Elwood John Campbell Ken Seeber Louis P. Guida 1:52 3/5 $444,371
1989 Sandman Hanover Bill O'Donnell Ken Seeber LPG Standardbred & MRF Racing Stable 1:53 2/5 $451,069
1988 Matt's Scooter Michel Lachance Harry J. Poulton Gordon & Illa Rumpel, Charles Juravinski 1:56 3/5 $461,310
1987 Redskin John Campbell Jerry Smith Jerry Smith 1:58 0/0 $447,310
1986 Amity Chef John Campbell Blair Burgess Cantario Farms, Blair Burgess, Bland & Baugh 1:55 4/5 $363,762
1985 Pershing Square Bill O'Donnell Billy Haughton Louis P. Guida 1:55 2/5 $483,560
1984 Troublemaker Bill O'Donnell Gene Riegle George Segal 1:57 3/5 $379,343
1983 Ralph Hanover Ron Waples Stewart Firlotte Ron Waples, Pointsetta Stables, Grants Direct Stables 1:57 0/0 $379,004
1982 Cam Fella Pat Crowe Pat Crowe Norman Clements & Norman Faulkner 1:57 3/5 $259,578
1981 Seahawk Hanover Ben Webster Samuel Lewis Dave Harris, Samuel Lewis, et al. 1:58 0/0 $224,955
1980 Niatross Clint Galbraith Clint Galbraith Niatross Syndicate 1:59 3/5 $173,522
1979 Hot Hitter Henri Filion Louis Meittinis Solomon Katz, S A J & Alterman Stables 1:59 4/5 $180,225
1978 Abercrombie Glen Garnsey Glen Garnsey L. Keith Bulen & Shirley A. Mitchell 1:58 2/5 $167,682
1977 Governor Skipper John Chapman H. "Bucky" Norris Ivanhoe Stable 1:59 1/5 $159,155
1976 Windshield Wiper Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Irving G. Liverman 2:00 0/0 $161,920
1975 Bret's Champ Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Edward W. Andrews 1:59 1/5 $154,222
1974 Armbro Omaha Billy Haughton Billy Haughton J. Elgin Armstrong 1:59 3/5 $151,043
1973 Valiant Bret Lucien Fontaine Harry Tudor P.G. & Jere Gray 2:00 3/5 $122,732
1972 Silent Majority Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Irving G. Liverman & Aline White 2:01 4/5 $154,733
1971 Albatross Stanley Dancer Stanley Dancer Amicable Stable 2:00 2/5 $114,977
1970 Most Happy Fella Stanley Dancer Stanley Dancer Egyptian Acres Stable 2:02 3/5 $123,450
1969 Bye Bye Sam Stanley Dancer Stanley Dancer Jane Falley Galt 2:02 3/5 $182,976
1968 Rum Customer Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Louis & Connie Manucuso & Kennilworth Farm 2:01 4/5 $189,018
1967 Romulus Hanover Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Farmstead Acres Farm 1:59 1/5 $178,064
1966 Romeo Hanover George Sholty Jerry Silverman Lucky Star Stables & Morton Finder 2:01 0/0 $169,885
1965 Bret Hanover Frank Ervin Frank Ervin Richard Downing 2:02 0/0 $151,252
1964 Race Time Ralph N. Baldwin Ralph N. Baldwin Castleton Farm 2:01 2/5 $150,960
1963 Overtrick John F. Patterson, Sr. John F. Patterson, Sr. Allwood Stable (Leonard & Helen Buck) 2:00 4/5 $146,324
1962 Thor Hanover John F. Simpson, Sr. John F. Simpson, Sr. J. F. Simpson, Sr., T. W. Murphy, Lawrence B. & C. N. Shepherd 2:01 1/5 $169,430
1961 Adios Don Robert Camper Robert Camper Harold Large 2:02 4/5 $145,377
1960 Countess Adios Delvin Miller Delvin Miller J. Elgin & Ted Armstrong & Hugh A. Grant, Sr. 2:02 1/5 $142,786
1959 Adios Butler Clint Hodgins Clint Hodgins Paige West & Angelo Pellillo 2:00 1/5 $110,994
1958 O'Brien Hanover James W. Jordan Delvin Miller Hugh A. Grant, Sr. 2:01 4/5 $108,565
1957 Meadow Lands Delvin Miller Delvin Miller Hugh A. Grant, Sr. & Del Miller 2:04 4/5 $100,084
1956 Belle Action Billy Haughton Billy Haughton Billy Haughton 2:01 2/5 $71,500

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Messenger Stakes history
  2. ^ "THSI Stakes & Other Races". The Hambletonian Society. Archived from the original on 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2006-10-03.