Harness Racing

Messenger Stakes goes to Ronny Bugatti

Yonkers, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Ronny Bugatti, driven by Jason Bartlett, came away Saturday night with the $450,000 Messenger Stakes, the final leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. The 3-year-old covered the mile in 1:51 4/5 at Yonkers Raceway.

Trained by Allan Johnson, Ronny Bugatti came from just off the pace that was being set by Word Power, Sent off at 6-1 in the eight-horse field, Ronny Bugatti drove along the inside through the stretch to post a head victory over Sunfire Blue Chip.

"It's great to win a race like this," Bartlett said. "I didn't think it would be that close coming around the last turn, but George's (Brennan) horse (Word Power) stalled and that allowed Yannick (Gingras and Sunfire Blue Chip) to gain momentum.

"He gets around this track very well and we beat a talented horse."

The win was worth $225,000 and brought Ronny Bugatti's earnings to $365,058. The gelding has won seven of 22 career starts.

Ronny Bugatti returned $14.80, $6.70 and $4.20. Sunfire Blue Chip paid $7.10 and $4.90, and Twilight Bonfire paid $5.20 to show.

This year's first two legs of the Pacing Triple Crown were won by Captaintreacherous (Cane Pace) and Vegas Vacation (Little Brown Jug).

No Pan Intended was the last Pacing Triple Crown champ in 2003.

11/04 10:21:03 ET