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Peck Shutting Down Holiday Road

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Published: October 2, 2009 12:05 pm ET

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It's safe to say that trainer Greg Peck Knows a little something about good horses and winning Hambletonians. The conditioner told Trot Insider this morning that he has shut down his Peter Haughton-winning freshman Holiday Road in preparation for the 2010 'Hambo.'

Peck himself may have known that he had a 2010 Hambo player on his hands earlier this year when the bay Yankee Glide colt was training down. The cat officially leapt out of the bag when the full brother to Ken Warkentin produced what Peck refers to as the best two-year-old trotting mile of the year thus far in the Meadowlands' $523,600 Haughton.

"In my opinion it was the best two-year-old trotting mile of the year," said Peck. "Brian (driver Brian Sears) had to check him; they were kind of forced up three-high for a bit in the backstretch. Brian then had to settle him down and then come first-over and do it the hard way."

The co-owning trainer gave Holiday Road some time off after the impressive 1:54, one-and-a-quarter-length win; but with hindsight being a magnifying glass, Peck explained to Trot Insider that he maybe should have quit with the $115,000 yearling purchase after the big mile.

A pair of qualifying efforts came roughly one month later in mid-September. From there, the colt finished six, beaten 12 lengths on September 21 in a division of the Simpson Stakes at the Red Mile. Peck officially decided to pull the plug on the colt's season after a division of the Bluegrass three days ago at the Lexington, Kentucky track where Holiday Road made a break and finished well back of the victor.

"I think the Haughton was a really demanding race. He's a growthy colt and I think that the mile stressed him some. Right now I think he's telling us that he needs a break.

"We had him checked over after he made the break the other day and he's fine. I think he's probably sore somewhere, but there is nothing glaring or seriously wrong with him."

There are still some attractive paydays on the 2009 horizon which would persuade many horsepeople to keep going forward with their fledgling charge, but Peck is looking beyond, forward to another Hambo prize.

"The race that I wanted to win the most with him this year was the Haughton," Peck told Trot Insider, "and the one I want to win the most next year is the Hambletonian."

Peck added that he thinks Holiday Road has "a very good shot" at trotting's holy grail in 2010, but that a good crop which includes Il Villaggio, Lucky Chucky, Pilgrims Taj and Muscle Massive, among others, should make things very interesting.


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