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Always A Virgin draws post one in Messenger

October 24, 2007

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Always A Virgin, who won the faster of last week\'s two elimination races, drew the inside post position and was made the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday night\'s $725,480 final of the Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway.
Eight 3 year olds are set to contest the final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown, going as the seventh race on Yonkers\' 10-race program. First post is 7:40 p.m., with the Messenger--which had an open draw--going postward at approximately 9:45 p.m.
Always A Virgin, a homebred Western Ideal colt, was a first-up winner (1:53.1) in last week\'s first $40,000 elimination. Brian Sears drives for trainer Joe Holloway and the ownership troika of Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable and Val D\'or Farms.

For the season, Always a Virgin has won 11 of 17 races and $647,463. He counts the $297,500 final of the Cane Pace--first jewel of the Pacing Crown--among his accomplishments.

\"I\'m obviously very pleased with the draw,\" Holloway said. \"It puts him in a good position, but they\'re not going to just hand it to us.\"

Hot Rod Mindale, sharply-driven winner of last week\'s second $40,000 elim (1:54), landed post position five. The son of Real Artist has four victories in 16 tries in 2007 ($207,002). Dave Miller drives and Jim Arledge Jr. trains for co-owners Frank Dettore, William Donovan and Joe Sbrocco. Hot Rod Mindale was made the 4-1 early third choice.    

The field for the 52nd Messenger Stakes, with declared driver:

1-Always a Virgin (Brian Sears, 9-5)
2-Watta Hotshot (Greg Grsimore, 30-1)
3-Southwind Lynx (Tim Tetrick, 2-1)
3-Forensic Z Tam (Pat Lachance, 20-1)
5-Hot Rod Mindale (Dave Miller, 4-1)
6-Kenneth J (Ron Pierce, 15-1)
7-Yankee Skyscaper (Dave Palone, 10-1)
8-Tivoli Hanover (George Brennan, 6-1)

Running Book and Pandora\'s Sox are the first and second also-eligibles..
The 48th Lady Maud, an event for 3-year-old pacing fillies worth $312,260, goes as Saturday night\'s eighth race.(approxomate post 10:10 p.m.)

1-Elusive Prey (Brennan, 3-1)
2-Current Hanover (Jeff Gregory, 4-1)
3-Mind Boggling (Palone, 7-2)
4-Isabella Blue Chip (Miller, 5-2)
5-Artcotic (Tetrick, 5-2)
6-Captiva Island (Tony Morgan, 6-1)
7-Marietta Hall (Pierce, 10-1)
8-Trinity Islands (Stephane Bouchard, 12-1).

Notes: Isabella Blue Chip and Artcotic shall race as a common-ownership (George Teague Jr.) entry; Marietta Hall and Trinity Island, both trained by Steve Elliott, shall race uncoupled (bona fide separate ownership). (Yonkers)

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