The Messenger Stakes
is an American harness racing
event for 3-year-old pacing horses. It was organized in 1956
at the Roosevelt Raceway in New York City
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 England
and later brought to the United States
. As a sire, virtually all race 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 the it closed down. After that, the Messenger Stakes was staged at different racetracks until 1995 when it moved permanently to The Meadows, a racetrack in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.