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The Messenger Stakes is an Americanmarker harness racing event for 3-year-old pacing horses. It was organized in 1956 at Roosevelt Racewaymarker in Westburymarker, New York (on suburban Long Islandmarker) 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 Englandmarker and later brought to the United Statesmarker. 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 Racewaymarker (Yonkers, NYmarker) to Freestate Raceway to Rosecroft Raceway (both in Maryland). In 1995, it moved to The Meadows Racetrackmarker in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker area. In 2004, the race was supposed to be moved back to Yonkers Racewaymarker, however, due to construction at the track, the race was moved to Harrington Raceway in Delawaremarker, where the event was held in 2004 and 2005. It is presently scheduled to be run at Yonkers on November 25, 2006, for a total estimated purse of US$750,000. The 2006 Messenger will run the same evening as the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters.

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.

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