Revenge Shark wins tight photo in Messenger

by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

Yonkers, NY — There were three horses fanned out across the track in the last stride of the $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night (Sept. 5) at Yonkers Raceway, but Revenge Shark (Yannick Gingras) won the second leg of the Pacing Triple Crown.

Mike Lizzi photo

Revenge Shark (No. 3) came on in the lane to win the Messenger Stakes on Saturday.

The win, by a nose, came in 1:53.1 for the Cam’s Card Shark-Western Top Cat colt trained by Tony Alagna for owners Alagna Racing and Bradley Grant. It was his fourth win in 17 starts this year and puts his career earnings at $425,107.

Dude’s The Man (Corey Callahan) was second and In The Arsenal (Brian Sears) third.

Pacing off the starting gate, there was a brief tussle for the lead between In The Arsenal and Dude’s The Man, with In The Arsenal emerging with the lead by the :27.3 first quarter. He held that lead to the :56.4 half.

The order remained the same to the three-quarters in 1:25.1 before Dude’s The Man was out and moving in the stretch to challenge while Revenge Shark took the third path from the rail to make his challenge. With the three together at the wire, it was Revenge Shark getting to the wire first.

It was the first time behind Revenge Shark for winning driver Yannick Gingras.

“That’s the way I was hoping for, that Corey (Callahan, driving Dude’s The Man) was going to get off on the right foot and I was going to sit the three hole behind clearly the two best horses in the race,” he said.

“I talked to some guys who drove the horse before and they said he’s a real good sprinter. Maybe first up would not be his cup of tea, but maybe if he was sitting in the three hole and be able to sprint at the end of it, that would be something he’d like. He certainly did.

“Even though they weren’t going that much, they didn’t come back that much and In The Arsenal wasn’t as good tonight as he has been. I expected him to come a big back half, so first up into a big back half wouldn’t have worked either. When he (Revenge Shark) cleared, he cleared maybe halfway down the stretch and maybe 10 yards away, he wasn’t really the strongest. But we were racing at Yonkers Raceway tonight and the angle got us home.

“Like everybody else said, he likes to sprint. I was a little worried about him in the turns, but scoring down, he felt good and I figured we could get a good piece from there.”

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