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If I Can Dream Headlines Messenger

IfICanDreamRooneyPaceedit.jpg

Published: October 27, 2009 7:03 pm ET

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Seven three-year-old colts were entered Tuesday for the 54th edition of the Messenger Stakes, third jewel of the pacing Triple Crown and Yonkers Raceway's final major stakes event of the season.

In alphabetical order, the roster includes Clear Vision, Doubleshotascotch, Fireintheshark, Hail Storm, Hypnotic Blue Chip, If I Can Dream and Straight Shooting. The number of entrants makes this race a one-dash-for-the-cash event, going for $542,060 a week from Saturday night, November 7.

The name above the title belongs, of course to If I Can Dream. The son of Western Hanover returns to the races for the first time since winning last weekend's $600,000 Breeders Crown at Woodbine, and returns to Yonkers for the first time since winning the $421,850 Art Rooney Pace in mid-June.

For the season, If I Can Dream--owned by Bulletproof Enterprises and trained by Tracy Brainard--has 10 wins, three seconds and a third in 19 starts. His earnings of $1,360,099 (U.S.) ranks second (to Well Said) among pacers in 2009.

The companion event, the Lady Maud Pace for three-year-old fillies, garnered 10 young ladies for a total purse of $404,430. A pair of $20,000 eliminations race go this Saturday night (Races 5 and 6), with all but one in each elim returning for next Saturday's $364,430 final.

Those lasses, in A-B-C order, are Jkmusicofthenite, Kiss Me Kate, Perfectionist, Personal Ad, Pumptuous, Shacked Up, Shanghai Lil, Thats The Plan, Up Front Kellie Jo and Yellow Diamond.

Shacked Up and Yellow Diamond, stablemates of one another as well as If I Can Dream, supplemented into the Lady Maud at a cost of $30,000 each.

Yellow Diamond brings a seven-figure bankroll and Breeders Crown title of her very own. The daughter of Western Terror won last Saturday night's $710,000 Crown event, her fourth consecutive victory and 11th in 18 '09 tries ($1,070,064 U.S.).

Shacked Up, another Western Terror miss, has "only" earned some $641,000 (U.S.) in 2009, with seven wins and 14 board finishes in 16 seasonal sojourns.

The open draw for both stakes finals takes place next Tuesday, November 3.

(Yonkers Raceway)


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