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Holiday Ballad Best in Sunday Feature

Louie Roussel III’s Holiday Ballad, placed just behind the early leaders, challenged for command at the eighth pole and outfought N. O. MSG Racing’s Alaco Castle with a neck tally in Sunday’s featured $51,000 allowance optional claiming sprint at Fair Grounds.

Ridden by Denny Velazquez and trained as well as owned by Louie Roussel III, Holiday Ballad toured the six-furlong distance in 1:10.08, increased his career earnings to $71,177 with his second victory in 11 lifetime starts and returned mutuels of $4, $2.40 and $2.20 as the even-money choice of the fans.

Alaco Castle, who alternated for the early lead with splits 22.27 and 45.16, was easily second-best at the wire, finishing 4 1/4-lengths to the good of Bryton Racing’s My Man Moran.

Alaco Castle paid $3.20 and $2.60 and My Man Moran returned $2.80 to show.

Racing resumes Monday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m.