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Rare Holloway Homebred Honours Special Lady

Published: June 27, 2012 7:21 pm ET

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Joe Holloway and John Travis have owned horses together for a number of years and have been friends going back to their days as fraternity brothers at the University of Delaware.

They have enjoyed success on the racetrack, perhaps most notably with stakes-winning filly pacer Marty Party, but it is unlikely any horse is as special as the two-year-old colt getting ready for his career debut Friday night in a division of the John Simpson Memorial Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

He is Kenzies Beach Boy, a son of Holloway’s champion Jennas Beach Boy and one of just a handful of horses bred by Holloway during his award-filled career. And he is named in honour of Travis’ late daughter McKenzie, who was killed in an automobile accident in 2006 at the age of 19.

“He’s a good looking horse,” said Travis, a tax accountant who lives in Delaware. “Joe likes the horse, so that’s a good sign. Hopefully, it works out. You never know what will happen in this business, it’s a roll of the dice. You just hope you get a good one.”

Travis has enjoyed harness racing for decades. His father worked at Brandywine Raceway and Travis got his first horse with Holloway in 1983. It was an older pacer named Bad Luck N, who had an uneventful career after joining their stable.

“You get a horse named Bad Luck, you know you’re in trouble,” Travis said with a laugh. “We’ll take luck, as long as it’s good.”

Kenzies Beach Boy qualified three times, finishing second by a neck in 1:56 in his most recent outing at Gaitway Farms. He won a qualifier by a head in 1:57 at the Meadowlands on June 9. He will start his seven-horse Simpson division from post five with Hall of Fame driver John Campbell in the sulky.

He is the first foal out of Holloway’s mare Absolutely Genuine, an unraced (because of injury) daughter of stakes-winning mare Genuine Lady. Holloway trained Genuine Lady during part of her three-year-old season, winning a heat of the Jugette before finishing third in the final.

“Hopefully, he goes forward,” Holloway said. “He’s going to be OK. Beyond that, who knows? We’ll find out.

“We’ve been friends a long time,” he added about Travis. “It’s the kind of family where you call them ‘aunt’ or ‘uncle’ even though they’re not. Hopefully, we have a lot of fun.”

When Kenzies Beach Boy goes onto the track, he will carry a tribute beyond his name. The Travis family collects angel wings and Holloway had the colt’s bridle fitted with decorative inlays capturing the motif.

McKenzie Travis was a standout athlete, particularly on the softball field. She was a four-year starter at Newark High School in Delaware, where she also was a good student, in addition to playing on travel squads. She was active as a volunteer in her community and known for her bubbly personality, deep dimples and million-dollar smile.

The Travis family established the McKenzie Travis Educational Foundation, through which nearly $250,000 in scholarships have been awarded to outstanding female athletes to support their college endeavours.

“McKenzie’s time with us was far too short, but the impact she made on our lives and the lives of others was significant,” said John Travis, who also bred and owns a two-year-old filly trotter named McKenzies Star with trainer Steve Elliott. “God has plans for people, but we don’t know what they are. But our lives were enriched forever by her presence.”

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

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