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Holiday Party Shoots For Six Pack

Published: July 25, 2016 10:33 pm ET

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Harness racing trainer Dany Fontaine certainly has his work cut out for him on Tuesday night at the Hippodrome 3R as he will be starting four horses, nearly half the field, in the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old trotters.

Fontaine, who hails from Lachenaie, Quebec where he has a training facility, will harness his pride and joy this season, Holiday Party, who is going for his sixth straight victory.

Holiday Party starts from post nine (in the second tier) in the third race, the fourth and final preliminary round of the Breeders Cup Series for the trotting colts and fillies.

After Tuesday’s final round, the top eight point earners in both the colt and filly divisions return to 3R on Sunday, September 4 for their respective $65,000 finals and Fontaine feels he has a good chance to not just have three of his four colts in the final, but maybe even finish one-two-three in that race.

“There is no question that this season Holiday Party has been the best of my colts in the stable,” Fontaine said, “But KFB Amigo Cool has been second or third each week and Andovers Choice has the speed to win it all too. Last week driver Guy Gagnon said he (Andovers Choice) was feeling so good that he would have won the race if not for the horses breaking and interfering with him.”

Winless in eight starts at age two last season, Holiday Party showed promise to Fontaine. The son of Holiday Road, owned by Gaetan Bono Inc of Montreal, QC, was coming into his own late in the season.

“In the $41,000 Quebec-Bred Series Final last year,” Fontaine explained. “Wildwild Men was so strong there was no one catching him, but Holiday Party found his stride and was a strong third in that track record race. Then we raced him at Mohawk and Woodbine and he was trotting in 1:58, 1:57. So I told Gaetan Bono that it was time to turn him out while he was good and he agreed.

“After he spent some time in the field we started back with him this winter,” Fontaine explained, “And he got better and better. At my training center I would take him out with the pacers to trainer and he would cut the mile and the pacers had trouble staying up with him going in 2:05. I knew then he would be very good this year.”

Very good is an understatement for Holiday Road. A winner in six of his ten starts, Holiday Road has a record of 1:57 at Georgian Downs and before coming to 3R for the series, won an $18,000 division of the Ontario Grassroots, also at Georgian Downs.

“I also put the trotting hopples on him,” Fontaine said, “Just to remind him to stay on the trot as he kept going faster and faster. Last week he showed that even when interfered with and making a break, he still was able to get back into the race and win it.

“Pascal Berube does an excellent job driving Holiday Road,” Fontaine added. “He knows the horse very well now and that helps a lot. It will be very interesting when he meets up with Wildwild Men in September in the final.

“I think we will do very good Tuesday night with all four of my horses in this race,” Fontaine explained. “We finally drew inside post positions for all of them. We have the one, two, four and nine post in the second tier.”

The trotting fillies do battle in the sixth race where the race favourite is last week’s return winner, Y S Suzanne, who starts from the rail for trainer/driver Carl Duguay.

This daughter of Angus Hall was given a perfect drive last week by Duguay, sitting second the entire mile until the top of the stretch when they came after Eau Naturelle (Simon Delisle) and beat them in the final stride to the wire by a nose in a lifetime best 2:01.2.

Eau Naturelle is back in the line and goes from post four along with other competitors Eclair Chocolat (post eight) and Labeauceronne (post four).

There are two non-wagering divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies at 6:30 p.m.

Opening round return winner Capteur De Reve starts from post five for driver Guy Corbeil in the colt division and Taurus P V, last week’s filly division winner, returns and starts again from post one.

First race post time Tuesday for the pari-mutuel card is 7:00 p.m. For a free race program and live video streaming of Tuesday’s races at 3R, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com.

(QJC)


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