Messenger, Lady Maud Posts Drawn

Published: November 3, 2009 07:04 pm EST

Millionaire If I Can Dream drew post position No. 3, leading his entrymate and five other rivals into Saturday night's $542,060 Messenger Stakes, third jewel of the pacing Triple Crown and Yonkers Raceway's final major stakes event of

the season.

If I Can Dream was anointed (by the author) as the 3-5 morning-line favourite.

The 54th edition of the Messenger--a one-dash-for-the-cash event--goes as the ninth race on the dozen-race Saturday card, with first post at the customary 7:10 p.m. The field is comprised of seven three-year-old pacers--four colts and three geldings.

If I Can Dream, a son of Western Hanover, returns to the races for the first time since winning last month's $600,000 Breeders Crown at Woodbine and returns here for the first time since winning the $421,850 Art Rooney Pace in mid-June.

Tim Tetrick, the colt's exclusive driver for the latter part of the season, retains the assignment Saturday for owner Bulletproof Enterprises and trainer Tracy Brainard. For the season, If I Can Dream has 10 wins, three seconds and a third in 19 starts. His earnings of $1,360,099 ranks second (to Well Said) among pacers in 2009.

Here is the field for Saturday night's $542,060 Messenger Stakes (ninth race, approximate post 10 p.m.), with declared drivers and morning-line odds:

1. Fireintheshark (Jason Bartlett, 10-1)
2. Hypnotic Blue Chip (John Campbell, 3-1)
3. If I Can Dream (Tim Tetrick, 3-5)
4. Clear Vision (Dave Miller, 6-1)
5. Hail Storm (Jordan Stratton, 20-1)
6. Straight Shooting (Yannick Gingras, 3-5, coupled with If I Can Dream)
7. Doubleshotascotch (Jim Morrill Jr., 15-1)

Note that If I Can Dream and Straight Shooting shall race as a common-ownership (Bulletproof Enterprises) entry.

If I Can Dream isn't the millionaire on the marquee, or in the barn for that matter. The owner-trainer combination also offers up Yellow Diamond in Saturday night's $364,430 final of the Lady Maud Pace for three-year-old fillies. Jim Morrill, Jr. escorts the early 4-5 favourite from post position No. 4.

Like If I Can Dream, Yellow Diamond is a homebred. The daughter of Western Terror won the faster of last Saturday night's two elim races (1:53.2) a week after her victory in the $710,000 Breeders Crown. She enters Saturday night's stakes engagement with five consecutive victories and an even dozen in 19 '09 tries ($1,080,064).

Here is the field for Saturday night's $364,430 final of the Lady Maud Pace (seventh race, approximate post 9:10 p.m.), with declared drivers and morning-line odds:

1. Perfectionist (Dan Dube, 12-1)
2. Up Front Kellie Jo (George Brennan, 8-1)
3. Shanghai Lil (Mike Lachance, 4-1)
4. Yellow Diamond (Morrill Jr., 4-5)
5. Kiss Me Kate (Campbell, 5-1)
6. Pumptuous (Gingras, 20-1)
7. Personal Ad (Dube also listed, 30-1)
8. Jkmusicofthenite (Gingras also listed, 10-1)

Note that Perfectionist and Kiss Me Kate, both trained by Jimmy Takter, shall race uncoupled due to bona fide separate ownership and Yellow Diamond supplemented into this event for $30,000.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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