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Holloway On His Party Of Three

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Published: October 19, 2011 7:07 pm ET

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Trainer Joe Holloway is sending three horses to the Breeders Crown and already knows he will have at least one horse in next weekend’s finals.

The $6 million Breeders Crown championships get under way with elimination races, as needed, on Friday and Saturday nights at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The finals for every age, gait and sex – 12 in all – will be held on October 29, also at Woodbine.

Holloway’s Marty Party will race in the $600,000 two-year-old filly pace, which saw nine entrants, making eliminations unnecessary. He also will send For A Dancer to the Breeders Crown for two-year-old filly trotters and Escape The News to the event for two-year-old male pacers.

For A Dancer, the undefeated (eight-for-eight) New York Sire Stakes champion, will start from post No. 6 with driver Jeff Gregory in the single elimination for the two-year-old filly trotters. The top eight finishers will join Circles and Win Missy B, who received byes, in the $600,000 final.

“She’s been super,” said Holloway. “We just staked her in the New York Sire Stakes, and then the big ones at the end. She goes [in the Breeders Crown] and then the Goldsmith Maid.”

Holloway is confident that For A Dancer, who has earned $184,082 for owner Bluestone Farms, can step up against open stakes company.

“She’s a good filly,” said Holloway. “The New York Sire Stakes finals, they’re not an easy bunch. To be in that final in New York, you’ve got to win a few legs. There are no slouches in there. They don’t give those things away. She’s got a good attitude and a great gait. She’s pretty docile, but she likes to win.”

For A Dancer is a daughter of Conway Hall out of the mare Fluttering Wings.

“She never gave me a reason not to like her, but you just have wishes and dreams,” said Holloway. “You don’t know what will happen; nobody knows. You have to see them race and see how they do, and then maybe you know something.”

Escape The News, coming off a win in his division of the International Stallion Stakes, will start from post No. 3 with driver Brian Sears in the second of two nine-horse elims for the two-year-old male pacers.

“I think he’s become a top horse,” said Holloway. “He wasn’t very good early on. We had to geld him because he was his own worst enemy. I think it’s really helped a lot; he’s raced very good. He’s learned how to go fast and he does it easy.”

Escape The News, by Artiscape out of the mare Ideal News, has won three of seven races and earned $126,379 for breeders/owners Brittany Farms and Val D’Or Farms. Ideal News was a multiple-stakes-winner for Holloway, who was retired in the middle of a successful three-year-old season after she nearly died because of inflammation in the lining of the lungs (pleurisy).

In his last three starts, Escape The News has two victories and a second-place finish.

“It’s up to him,” said Holloway. “That’s a tough division. Whoever makes the final is going to have a chance to win it. It’s going to be whoever gets a trip because there are a lot of good pacing colts around.”

Marty Party, who recently suffered from a foot abscess, won five of her first seven races before a streak of three consecutive third-places finishes, including a fourth-placed-third in her most recent start, a division of the International Stallion Stakes on October 7 at Lexington’s Red Mile.

Following the race, Holloway considered skipping the Breeders Crown, but changed his mind when Marty Party rebounded from her foot woes.

“She’s doing real well right now,” said Holloway. “I knew she had [the abscess] going to the Red Mile. It popped, but she never got totally good on it. Not that she raced horrible there; it just took more time than you’d like.”

Marty Party finished third in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on September 10 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs after battling for the lead in an opening quarter-mile of :26.1. She led to the stretch, but finished three-quarters of a length behind favourite Economy Terror and a quarter-length in back of Destinys Chance.

“That was just the trip; she just went a vicious trip,” said Holloway. “But she fought right to the wire. That was just racing luck there.”

Her other third-place finish came in her division of the Bluegrass Stakes, behind Destinys Choice and Economy Terror, but Holloway said improper equipment was to blame.

“She wasn’t very manageable,” said the trainer. “That’s my mistake. I’ll take the heat on that one.”

Overall, Marty Party has won five of 10 races and earned $164,122 for Holloway, who owns the filly with Val D’Or Farms, Four J’s Stable and Dreamland Farms. A daughter of Yankee Cruiser out of the mare Noble Marty, she was purchased as a yearling for $35,000.

Marty Party will start from post No. 1 with driver Dave Palone in the Breeders Crown final. The remainder of the field, in post position order is Handsoffmycookie, Pirouette Hanover, Apogee Hanover, Economy Terror, Shelliscape, Big Mcdeal, Angel Scent, and Podges Lady.

“I like her chances a lot now, especially now that she’s back to herself,” said Holloway. “I wasn’t going to be afraid to race anybody. She just went through a couple [difficult] weeks, but everybody goes through that. She’ll be a big, big factor.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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