World champion Somebeachsomewhere drew outside of his five rivals for Yonkers Raceway's $650,000 Messenger Stakes, scheduled for Saturday night. Post time for the 13-race card is 6:50 p.m., with the 53rd edition of the Messenger going as the 10th race (approximate post 10 p.m. ET).
The Messenger, final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, became a one-dash-for-the-cash event when only six 3-year-old colts entered.
Somebeachsomewhere, the fastest 3 yearold in harness history and richest pacer of 2008, brings regular driver Paul MacDonell along for his first Westchester visit in a decade. The Beach's resume includes wins in the $1.47 million final of the North America Cup at Mohawk and the $463,420 final of the Flamboro's Confederation Cup. He starts Saturday night as the 1-2 favorite on this author's morning line.
Brent MacGrath co-owns (as part of Schooner Stables) and trains the son of Mach Three.
For the season, SBSW has won 11 of his dozen races (with that one second in the final of the Meadowlands Pace) and $1,750,003. His 1:46.4 blowout in a division of the Bluegrass at The Red Mile late last month tied Holborn Hanover's all-age race record. He was 1:47.4 winner in his division of the Tattersalls--a seventh consecutive victory--in his most recent try in early October.
Shadow Play drew right inside Somebeachsomewhere at post postion five, with the lone $60,000 supplemental entrant looming as the main threat. The son of The Panderosa has won a dozen of his 21 starts, with earnings of $723,446. He stakes-winning trifecta includes the Adios, Little Brown Jug and Windy City Pace (stakes-record 1:50.4).
Dave Miller drives the 5-2 early second choice for co-owner and trainer Dr. Ian Moore.
The complete field for the Messenger Stakes, with declared driver:
1-Legacy N Diamonds (Driver TBA, 12-1)
Note that Legacy N Diamonds and Santanna Blue Chip shall race as a coupled (common ownership) entry.
Saturday night's undercard is led by the $381,030 final of the Lady Maud, for 3-year-old pacing fillies (9th race).
Elimination winners Artimittateslife (Stephane Bouchard, post 1) and Cheyenne Trish (Jim Meittinis, post 2) worked their magic with the open draw. The field for Lady Maud, with declared driver:
1-Artimittateslife (Stephane Bouchard, 7-2)
Note that See and Be Seen and Thong shall race as a coupled (common ownership) entry, while Good News Lady is the also eligible.
Saturday night's program also includes a pair of $100,000 invitationals, the Oleg Cassini Trot (8th race) and Hudson Valley Pace (11th race). (Yonkers)