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Monday, 9 October 2017

Ajax Downs Selections Thanksgiving Monday

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ajax Downs! We have a fantastic card for the holiday, topped by the Alex Picov Memorial Championship for older horses going the classic 440 yards and the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity for the two year olds going 400 yards. The weather hasn't been perfect and the track will be muddy, but there should be some great races throughout the day. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-6-2
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ajax Downs! #5 JESS TUFF has hit the board in two of his five starts and qualified to the OSS Futurity. He drops back from open to Ontario Sired company today. #6 I THINK ICON finished second by a head in her second start in an un-noteworthy group then came back with an okay fourth place finish. If she breaks well she can be in the mix. #2 BELLDACIOUS debuted two weeks ago and was a little worked up in the paddock. She had the rail post that day and didn't run too bad. We may see some improvement. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 1-3-5
This race starts the early Pick 3. #1 TELLER LAJOLLA has shown some run in each of her three starts in better fields than this. If she gets out well she looks like a big threat in this group. #3 MISS COOKIES showed some run in her first two starts in Arizona but quickly fell off form. Unfortunately in her Ajax debut she broke poorly and showed no real signs of improvement. There may be a big turn around in store if she can just get a clean run. #5 WINNERS PROSPECT is still a maiden after 25 starts but has run some okay races and takes the drop in for $5,000 today. He could get a piece of it in this short field.

Race 3: 1-2-4
#1 IM SPEEDY was beaten a nose by Eyesa Speedy Simon two back. Last time out he finished very gamely between horses to be third behind Ice Fishn & Home to Vegas in a QROOI Overnight Series race. It's very tough to knock that form. #2 ONE DASHIN ROSE exits a NW2 win over next-out winner A Splash of Royalty. Although a NW3 would be more ideal, she doesn't look totally outclassed here and is worth some consideration. #4 FASTER THAN U exits a good fourth place finish in a tough optional claimer topped by Itsallaboutramblin and Valiant Stoli Time. This group may be a bit easier and he is a capable horse when he's at his best.

Race 4: 2-3-4
This race is the 110 yard Gridiron Gallop, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #2 ONE KOOL WAVE was beaten a neck in his first start of the year at this distance in the first leg of the QROOI Sprint Series, then came back to win the final two legs. There is no denying that he is a monster and he's got a solid record at 110 yards to back it up. #3 CARTELS FAST MONEY is a mare with a big kick from the gate and has run several good races because of it. Her 110 yard record is solid, and earlier this year she was right there with the two ML favourites at the distance. Don't count her out. #4 ARCTIC FAME kicked off the year with four wins including the QROOI Sprint Series 110 yard race, but hasn't had the kick to beat One Kool Wave in the last two. He's a sharp gelding who seems to have gotten a bit better with age.

Race 5: 6-4-5
#6 PASSUM LANE has unfortunately had two consecutive gate malfunctions occur in his most recent races, leaving him declared a non starter both times. He can be a handy horse at these lower Speed Index levels and it wouldn't surprise me if he's sharp at a good price. #4 TETE DE JAUNE dropped into this Speed Index class two starts back and has won both of his attempts, albeit narrowly. He's found his level and he should continue to be competitive. #5 SAMMIES ROCKET has been right there behind Tete De Jaune in those two most recent starts. He's similar to Passum Lane in that he's a bit win shy but puts in plenty of respectable efforts.

Race 6: 4-5-7
#4 FAMOUS MISCHIEF had a soft field for his Ajax debut and ran an okay second. He's lightly raced and while I don't think this group is as easy, I still don't see any world beaters for his second start over the surface. #5 TRES SEIS DELIGHT showed some promise as a two year old in Indiana but hasn't panned out this year. Most recently at Belterra he broke out, bumped a foe and was a non-threat. We'll see how he fits here. #7 CAPTAIN CAROLINA followed good form to a win on September 11 but was disqualified for interference. He's been in pretty solid form and has already proven he can beat other maidens.

Race 7: 7-6-5
The first of today's Stakes features is the $86,800 Alex Picov Memorial Championship! #7 FIESTY ICON scored back to back optional claiming wins then finished fourth in the All Canadian Classic after a bit of a stumble at the start. His one try at 440 last year was a big effort. If things go his way today he could pull off the upset. #6 ONE FAMOUS GLASS looks to defend his title in this race. He loves 440 yards, with five wins in nine starts. Two starts back he managed to beat Country Boy 123 at the distance. He's a serious horse. #5 COUNTRY BOY 123, the likely heavy favourite, has had a tremendous season, four wins including two Stakes and a QROOI Distance series race, with one close second behind One Famous Glass. His wins have been dominant and against the best horses around. Selling this horse short would just be wrong. As I always do, I'm trying to beat him at a short price, but he is a fantastic racehorse who deserves plenty of recognition for his accomplishments.

Race 8: 2-6-5
#2 SPEEDOCRACY had a good three year old season but has had some troubles at the break this year and it has caused him to be winless. However, last time he got out fine and was just beaten a nose by Sugarman's Delight. I think this is an easier spot, hopefully he leaves fast. #6 PERFECT TO LOOK AT was beaten a nose last out in a 90 and under Speed Index race by Ms Dashin Corona, who has since won again. His record is very solid, in 10 starts he has never been worse than fourth and the 90 Speed Index races are usually quite solid events. #5 EYESA WILD BOY scored his NW3 two back then came back to run a good fifth in a tough optional claiming race. He gets in a bit easier now and can grab a piece of it. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 9: 5-8-2
Today's second Stakes feature is the $112,850 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity! #5 EXPRESS YOUR DESIRE was an impressive debut winner, went on the shelf, returned for new connections and won his trial despite lugging inwards a bit. He seems like a runner to me. #8 HAD TO BE IVORY, undefeated in four starts, really made a big statement when he won his trial easily with a 101 speed index, a number not seen by many two year olds here at Ajax. He already has a Stakes win to his name and is the one to beat here. #2 ISLAND VODKA qualified to the John Deere Juvenile Challenge earlier this year but was not a threat in the final. She returned with an easy maiden with then scored a win in the trials for today's event. She seems like she's moving in the right direction. The Late Double starts here.

Race 10: 3-8-1
#3 MRS FIRST LADY won the AQHA Challenge Maiden earlier in the season. Two back she was beaten a head by Miromar and Ls Prince in the Adequan Derby Challenge trials before finishing fifth in the final. She takes a big class drop today and should be tough. #8 GRABIN AWARDS is only one for 19 in his career but is in pretty good form and has been picking up the minor shares. If he's a good price I would take a look at him. #1 FURR SHEAR was beaten a neck by A Splash of Royalty last time out after being beaten a head when racing out of condition against NW3. He is lightly raced and still has time to improve.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Ajax Downs Selections August 20

After last week's stakes doubleheader we return with a seven race card at Ajax Downs. No stakes, trials or overnight events this week but we do have a nice optional claiming race for older horses going in Race 6. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 1-4-5
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #1 A GAME DASHER has been in the top three in all four of her starts this year, including a win three back. Last time out she was a good third behind The Flash Drive and Fishn For a Corona. If she gets the jump on them she may be hard to catch. #4 HOME ICE raced very well when finishing fourth in the OSS Derby two back. He then won a NW2, defeating Check the Winner, who returned to beat a field of NW3 and returns in this spot, still eligible for the condition. He outfinished A Game Dasher in their seasonal bow in May. #5 KOOL DASHIN BABE broke her maiden in a QROOI Overnight series race and came right back to win a NW2 over her stablemate, A Splash of Royalty, who also returns here. She draws outside and has a realistic shot at the hat trick. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 5-7-4
This race begins the early Pick 3. #5 WONT BAC DOWN finished fourth on debut, finishing behind Miss Racy Eagle. She has a decent pedigree, half sister to Countrys Comin Bac, and could improve second time out.  #7 MISS RACY EAGLE has faced a couple of the top two year olds to start here in her three local starts, Had to be Ivory and Carneros. She leads the field in experience, has shown some run and I don't think there are any monster first timers here. #4 FURY US debuts with a pair of gate works on her form. She has been paddock schooled in the mornings so she has some familiarity with the routine. Her dam was a two year old winner.

Race 3: 1-4-3
#1 JESS RIP stumbled a bit at the start but was still out fast and led the whole way when breaking her maiden last time out. You may want to note that she was reported to have bled in that start and will race on Lasix today. If she gets out well she has a good shot to double up. #4 GRABIN COURAGE had the outside post in a short field, broke outwards and finished fourth of five. He faces Ontario breds here as opposed to open company and will hopefully break straight. #3 ARISING MIRACLE finished fifth in the OSS Derby two back. Last out she was fourth at this level behind Ice N Snow and Mr Polar Express. I don't think that was a bad group of NW2 to be fourth in. He could be alright here.

Race 4: 3-2-1
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #3 SHESASTREAKINCHICK is not exactly a winning type; two for 42 in her career with the most recent win back in June 2015. She was second at this level two back, but last time out was in a really tough group of NW3. If she breaks well she should be competitive here. #2 RICH AND ON FIRE exits a pair of wins at the 75 and under level and takes a slight jump up to 80 and under. He's in good form and this really isn't much of a jump in class. #1 PASSUM LANE won three back and has kept good form in the two runs since. Although nine for 20 in the top three in his career, his record is a bit better than it looks if you dig into it a bit. He's a respectable horse in these Speed Index races.

Race 5: 4-2-1
#4 COLD HARD DASH wasn't in easy for his first Ajax start, finishing fifth in a race topped by Zoxtobeyou and Home Ice. His second local start was a very tough optional claimer that was won by Reckless an Wild and included The Fdd Map and Memories Times Six. He has some experience over the surface, races without Lasix and gets back into his condition. #2 HELLO STOLI broke his maiden over his stablemate, Kool Dashin Babe who has won two races since and is entered in today's first. He came back to be third behind Ms First Prize Pearl and Maryland Magic, probably the toughest NW2 we've have this year, then went out of his condition to face NW3, finishing fourth behind Ms First Pirze Pearl again. He should be competitive. #1 ONE DASHIN ROSE had three very nice efforts to start the season off, including a close third in the AQHA Challenge Maiden, but stumbled at the start in the Adequan Derby Challenge trials and finished sixth. If she gets out well this time she should fit right in with this group. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 6: 8-3-6
The Late Double starts here. #8 FASTER THAN U was beaten by Country Boy 123, Alakazaam, Runaway Cause and Fast Man Vic last time out. That was just his second start of the season, and I think he may have needed those first two. He's a bit of a reach in this field, but he's got some run and I think he has the potential to improve today. #3 HOME TO VEGAS ran his career best speed figure and speed index last time out, finishing fourth at this level. He makes his third start of the year here and I don't think he's lost a step from two to three years old. #6 COUNTRYS COMIN BAC has been right there in the three starts where he's broke well this year. He's a very honest horse, eight top two finishes in 12 starts including a second behind Country Boy 123 in last year's Picov Derby. He always deserves respect.

Race 7: 6-4-10
#6 FAST STREAKIN NICK stumbled at the start last time out but before that had four very good runs, three seconds and a third against good foes. If he breaks he should be right there. #4 WAGER ON ME has been no worse than third in five tries this season and most of those fields have been good ones. I hate to sound like a broken record, but if she breaks well she should be a factor. #10 PYC TRICKIE LADY finished second behind Gogo Jangles in her first start of the season, beating Fast Streakin Nick. She could improve second time out and may be the one to beat from the outside.
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Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Ajax Downs Selections August 13

Stakes doubleheader this weekend at Ajax Downs. Eight races on card, with the late double consisting of the Adequan Derby Challenge and the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. After a string of rainy days the weather looks beautiful. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-2-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 NIGHT FISHN ran a troubled seventh in her debut. Second time out she drew the rail in a short field, stumbled at the break and ran a decent second behind a class dropping Mr Polar Express. She draws outside in a short field this time and hopefully will leave better. #2 STREAKIN JET SPEED was underwhelming last year but seems to be a better horse this season. Last time out she was a good fourth in a decent group of horses, running a career high speed figure. One to consider. #1 ADABOI KINGSLEY finished third behind Night Fishn last time out. He was not showing much at the start of the year but may be rounding into form now. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 3-1-5
This race begins the early Pick 3. #3 ZOOMN BLUE has run a little bit greenly in both of his outs but that should be fixed with experience. Both of his runs so far have been respectable. #1 ISLAND VODKA showed a bit of run in her debut in Oklahoma but was troubled in her trial for the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and was not far behind Zoomn Blue in the final. Her presence should be felt if she breaks well. #5 PEEPL R KRAZI bore out a bit at the start in her debut and failed to threaten. She should be able to grab a check in this short field.

Race 3: 6-5-2
#6 ROCKIN MISS KITTY was a Speed Index race winner two back before jumping up into starter allowance company where she ran a good second to Channelislandsflyer. She's a very game mare and it shows with her 12-5-3-0 record at Ajax. #5 FAVORITE LEADER was fourth behind Rockin Miss Kitty last time and last of five in a good group of optional claimers before that. She has not had much luck at all this year but when she breaks she's better than her recent record shows. #2 FLY FAST FOR KAYLEE was fourth of five last time behind Winner On a Lark, who returns here. He's a solid old horse who picks up a lot of checks along the way.

Race 4: 3-4-2
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #3 ICONIC SHIFT has been a close second in both of his last two races, and both would have been wins if he had broken straight. He's a fast horse and if he gets out on top he'll be tough to run down. #4 THISDUDESONFIRE finished fourth in his Ajax debut behind a very well meant first time starter named One Kool Korona. He makes his second run of the year and second over the local surface which could point to improvement. #2 PEVES OUT FURR CANDY has broken slowly in his two local starts. He has some runs in the States that don't look too bad. We'll see how he breaks today.

Race 5: 6-3-2
#6 YOURNOTTHEBOSSOFME was a very impressive debut winner. Second time out he ducked in sharply early in the race after a right handed hit and cost himself any chance of winning, finishing third before being disqualified. I'm hoping for a clean break and a straight run this time out. #3 ICE N SNOW has two close seconds and a third in three starts this year. Last time when finishing second he was ahead of Yournotthebossofme and was just a nose bob away from winning. #2 GRABIN AWARDS raced against non-restricted NW2 last time out and finished a good fourth behind Gogo Jangles, a horse who was coming off a win and is currently entered in Derby trials at Indiana Grand. He may find this spot easier.

Race 6: 2-7-1
#2 SUGARMANS DELIGHT finished a close third (DQd to seventh) behind the red-hot Deal a Fortune and Valiant Stoli Time last out. Although winless at 400 yards, his three starts at the distance have all been great efforts and he has a lot of class to him. #7 IFWISHESWEREFISHES exits a narrow win over Situation Critical. She is two-for-two at 400 yards and has hit the board in eight of her 13 starts so far. She's tough to ignore. #1 MIROMAR won his first two local starts, including a neck-victory over Ifwisheswerefishes on May 28. He finished second behind his stablemate Ls Prince in the Adequan Derby Challenge trials but was DQd for interference and will not be able to compete in the final. He does seem to like running here. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 7: 4-9-5
Our first Stakes feature today is the $30,420 US Adequan Derby Challenge! #4 PEVES FREDDY B didn't break on top but closed well to be second behind Maryland Magic in the trials. That was his first local start so seeing improvement wouldn't be a shock. #9 MARYLAND MAGIC has been no worse than second in four local starts. He finished a good second behind Mrs First Lady in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. Most recently he won his trial for this race and I would think he will be the favourite today. #5 DENALI TELLER OFF, last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity winner won her 2017 debut before finishing third in this race's trials. She has never been worse than third. The Late Double begins here

Race 8: 1-4-9
Our second Stakes feature is the $72,550 Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity! #1 ROYAL HATRICK is a half sister to Now Is Forever and Embrace Extravagence, two very nice fillies. In her trial she was beaten a head. I'm not in love with the rail but I love her breeding and she may go overlooked in favour of the trial winners. #4 JUNOIMZOOMIN won her trial quite easily with the fastest qualifying time. This field could very well give her a run for her money but for all we know she'll just get better. #9 HANOVER HILL SUGAR won her trial over Royal Hatrick by a head. She draws outside and would be a good addition to resume of new stallion Make Out Artist.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Ajax Downs Selections August 6

Seven races on tap this week at Ajax Downs. No true featured events but we do have a 110 yard dash in Race 5 and a very nice optional claimer featuring horses like Fiesty Icon and Home to Vegas in Race 6. Here are my selections for today's card.

Race 1: 4-3-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #4 HELLFIRE N BRIMSTONE made his 2017 debut 17 days ago and ran a good second despite not breaking perfect. He is liable to improve. #3 MISS HER MADLY exits back to back third place finishes, first in a speed index race against foes with wins to their name, and then in the same race Hellfire N Brimstone exits. She seems to be gradually improving. #1 GEORGIES MAY KITTY has racked up four top three finishes in nine career starts. Her lone start at 350 yards was a decent second and the Thoroughbred breeding she has suggests she'll want distance. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 5-1-2
This race begins the early Pick 3. #5 PASSUM LANE got a bit ancy in the gate last time out and ended up running a decent fourth. He draws outside and may be better if he can stay more settled. #1 RICH AND ON FIRE was outgunned by Passum Lane two back but turned the tables on July 23 and scored the win along the rail. He seems right at home at this low speed index level. #2 SCOUTING FOR ME is a maiden facing winners. He exits three consecutive runner up finishes. Last time out I thought he had a large lead crossing the gap and shouldn't have gotten run down but did. His speed figures are good but it's tough to take a short price on a maiden in this situation.

Race 3: 6-2-1
#6 MISS DOCK HILL didn't break as fast as she should have last time out and was a non factor but was in good form before that. She has been given some time off and may be back to normal here. #2 STEEL PATRIOT has been a fringe player since coming here but is gradually improving. Last time out from the rail he finished fourth behind Ms First Prize Pearl, Maryland Magic and Hello Stoli, a respectable ground. Before that he was beaten a length in a NW2. #1 KOOL DASHIN BABE found her best stride at the right time, winning the QROOI Overnight Series for maidens on July 16 over Iconic Shift. She takes the next jump in conditions.

Race 4: 4-5-2
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #4 MS FIRST PRIZE PEARL broke sharply to the outside in her first local start but came out much better and won second time out, beating Maryland Magic, who came back to win an Adequan Derby Challenge trial. She may have won the first local start with a better start. #5 FISHN FOR A CORONA won her first two starts, both in NW2 races before getting beat a head by The Flash Drive. She beat Ms First Prize Pearl on July 1. #2 FAST BUCK qualified to the Picov Maturity and was no threat in the final. and hasn't been much of a factor in two allowance races since. He is capable of being competitive and could certainly round things out in this short field.

Race 5: 2-1-7
This race is the 110 yard Gridiron Gallop! #2 ROUGE RIVER CARTEL is new to the 110 yard dash. He has quite a bit of speed leaving the gate and is in very good form this year. #1 ALBERTT is also new to 110 yards. Although he's normally a fine breaker, his start in the OSS Maturity wasn't as quick as it could have been in my opinion, but he could rebound here. #7 DEAL A FORTUNE exits back to back wins in the optional claiming ranks. Last year in one of his attempts at 110 yards he finished second behind Arctic Fame. I wouldn't be surprised to see him as the favourite here. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 6: 3-5-1
The Late Double starts here. #3 FIESTY ICON didn't break great and could not recover in the OSS Maturity trials, which is unfortunate as he would have been the favourite in the final. He's capable of running with the best of the best in Ontario, if he breaks he's the one to beat. #5 HOME TO VEGAS made his seasonal debut in the OSS Derby, finishing a neck behind Ghost Pines and Later Tater. He may be sharper now that he's got a race into him. #1 VALIANT STOLI TIME has had a pair of close finishes in similar optional claiming races, beaten a neck by Deal a Fortune in both of them. At the start of the season he had a second behind Albertt and was a length behind One Famous Glass in the Picov Maturity trials. One to consider.

Race 7: 7-6-8
#7 UPPER CANADA broke inwards, bumped a foe and made a late bid but was second best behind Rockin Miss Kitty last time. He is only two for 17 in his career but at a good price I think he's worth considering. #6 ITSALLABOUTRAMBLIN ran a huge third two back, trying to get by at every point but being herded out all the way. Last time out he was third in spite of a less than perfect start, but I don't think it was the same effort. Regardless, he's pretty consistent, eight top three finishes in 12 starts and will likely be favoured. #8 EYE SAID IM NED was fourth behind Rockin Miss Kitty and Upper Canada last time out. He broke outwards then ran a bit greenly early and didn't finish up too badly. He's a longshot to take a look at.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Ajax Downs Selections July 30

We finish the month at Ajax with a big card. Two trials for the Adequan Derby Challenge, a qualifying race for the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Prairie Meadows in October, and the second legs of the QROOI Sprint Series and Distance Series. Superstar Country Boy 123 starts from post #1 in the Distance Series race, which goes as Race 8. Here are my selections for today's card.

Race 1: 5-3-4
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 FAMES WINNER has shown nothing in three starts this year, all at much higher class levels where he was clearly outmatched. Last year when going through his allowance conditions he had a great season and this is a very sensible drop in class. #3 PURRFECT STORM was beaten a length 10 days ago in a Speed Index race topped by Rockin Miss Kitty. He was beaten a half length for second and should be competitive in this group. #4 IAMASWEETMAN broke inwards and bumped a foe in a NW2 allowance race last time out, finishing seventh of eight. That was a good bunch for that class level. He is a very win shy type but can grab a piece of it. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 5-8-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #5 CARNEROS was beaten a neck in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge. A rider error may have cost him the win, as Rene Gutierrez stopped riding in the late yards, but I think he was caught just as he stopped and would have just ended up second by a head instead of a neck. Regardless, he can leave the gates very well and gets a drop in class here. #8 FAST PRIZE GAL was a well beaten third in her debut. She had the rail post that day but was not loaded early as per usual. Today she draws outside and may improve with experience. #6 PEEPL R KRAZI is a daughter of Ivory James. She has shown improvement in her workouts this year.

Race 3: 2-5-6
#2 HOME ICE lugged inwards early and ended up finishing a good fourth in the OSS Derby last time out. As a two year old he was second in the OSS Futurity and fifth in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. If he gets away well he will be the one to beat. #5 KINDA LIKEA LOVESONG was a good third behind Rockin Miss Kitty and Upper Canada last time out in a Speed Index race. Although Rockin Miss Kitty is a respectable foe and this mare has been running well. she's a bit of a chronic losing type, with a one for 16 record in her career. #6 CHECK THE WINNER has been catching solid groups and has not been breaking well this year. Each one of his starts this year shows trouble at the start. With a clean break from the outside he could be competitive.

Race 4: 3-6-1
This race is the start of the $.20 Early Pick 4! #3 ROCKIN MISS KITTY took a couple starts to get going but managed to win last time out. She had a similar cycle last year, two starts that were okay but then a wake up in the third out that led to a very solid season. I think she can be competitive with this group. #6 LOOKIN TO BE ICONIC was third behind First Element last time out, losing place in the final jumps to Channelislandsflyer. Two back she was second behind Arctic Fame, beating Channelislandsflyer. A win candidate. #1 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER has been second or third in each of his five starts this year. It's pretty tough not to like him, he runs hard and grabs plenty of cheques along the way,

Race 5: 4-5-7
This is the first of two trials for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #4 HICKERSON was put in a very tough spot, the first QROOI Distance Series race for his first start of the year and finished sixth. He's a big, leggy horse who I think definitely appreciates 400 yards as he showed last year, and should improve as he grows into himself. #5 DENALI TELLER OFF bested Hickerson in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year. She won her 2017 debut in an optional claimer over Countrys Comin Bac and Speedocracy, a solid group. She should be favoured. #7 MRS FIRST LADY was an upset winner in the AQHA Challenge Maiden two back. Last time out she broke out and took a good bump, raced on the inside and was a fairly game fourth. She seems to like it here.

Race 6: 6-3-2
This is the second trial for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #6 PEVES FREDDY B has two runs in Oklahoma this year, most recently winning at today's distance in a $20,000 claiming race. He was Stakes placed last year and the owner has brought him up here for these trials. #3 KONA CORONA has a win and a close second in two starts this year. He seems like he has potential to be a classy type and is one to consider. #2 MARYLAND MAGIC won his trial before finishing second in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. He then finished second behind Ms First Prize Pearl, a runner who I think has a lot of potential to do well here. He has two runs at 400 yards and they were both solid efforts down south. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 7: 6-9-10
This race is part of the QROOI Sprint Series going 220 yards. #6 EYESA ZOOMN was fourth by half a length in the first leg of this series at 110 yards. Last year is the 220 leg he was beaten a head by First Down the Track, who had a monstrous season. He goes for his second off the layoff and may be a bit overlooked. #9 ARCTIC FAME has turned into a killer this year, winning each of his four starts so far this season. He won the 110 yard dash two back then came right back a week later for a starter allowance score. We'll see if he can make it five straight. #10 ONE KOOL WAVE was second by a neck going 110 yards behind Arctic Fame in his first start of the year. He is a nine year old veteran who still runs very well in spite of his age The $.20 Late Pick 4 kicks off here!

Race 8: 4-1-6
This race is part of the QROOI Distance Series going 400 yards. #4 FAST MAN VIC is my flyer to try and beat Country Boy 123 because I don't want to take the 1-5 he'll probably be. I know this horse is probably best at 400-440 yards and I think he's better this season than last after having the winter off. If he breaks perfect he may get lucky. #1 COUNTRY BOY 123 is the obvious horse to beat. He broke the 300 yard track record in the Picov Maturity, he's the co-track record holder at 400 yards, and he's just been playing with his competition here. You don't need me to tell you he's the most likely winner. #6 SHOOTIN SIXES has been a good distance horse in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada in recent years. He made his first local start ten days ago, cutting back to 350 yards and running a pretty good fourth despite hopping at the start. This spot is obviously very tough but this is a horse to watch for when he finds an easier race at 440.

Race 9: 4-2-7
#4 BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT has raced three times and is yet to beat a horse. He added blinkers last time out which I think should help, but that was the OSS Derby and he drew the rail. Today he gets a reasonable group of maidens and may run better. #2 EYESA DEXTER was third (placed second) behind the very impressive Yournotthebossofme two starts back but was a disappointment last time out, finishing fourth of five as the 4-5 favourite. He should be able to get a share here. #7 ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOMIN BY had two decent second place finishes but didn't break well and finished ninth last time out in the Yournotthebossofme race. Much as she's improved this year, after the last race it's tough to be sold on her as the favourite from the betting standpoint but she should be competitive. The Late Double starts here.

Race 10: 8-6-4
#8 ICONIC SHIFT broke out and bumped a foe at the start, managed to make the lead but was caught late to lose by a neck in his first run of 2017. He could be tough with a better break in his second start of the year. #6 WAGER ON ME finished a close second behind well meant first time starter One Kool Korona last time out. So far at Ajax she has a second and three thirds in four starts. #4 FAST STREAKIN NICK had three runner up finishes to kick off his Ajax campaign. Last time out he had to settle for third behind Gogo Jangles, who returned to win again last week. He should be a factor.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ajax Downs Selections July 23

Racing returns at Ajax today with a seven race card. Today's card is highlighted by a trio of trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. 21 juveniles have been entered and it's a difficult set of races as only one of those 21 starters have a race under their belt. Here are my selections for today's card.


Race 1: 1-4-2
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #1 NIGHT FISHN, a half sister to Stakes winner Ice Fishn, was checked early in her debut, a QROOI Overnight Series race for Ontario Sired maidens and was unable to recover. She ran a good figure in spite of it. She could improve second time out. #4 MR POLAR EXPRESS was outclassed in the OSS Maturity trials a few weeks back. He did qualify for the AQHA Challenge Maiden and has run a few decent races. #2 GEORGIES MAY KITTY exits a second place finish. She finished fourth in the Overnight series race and seems to be gradually improving. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 2-4-1
This race begins the early Pick 3. #2 PASSUM LANE broke well and led throughout despite lugging in a bit and was under little to no urging late. If he gets out on top again he will do what he can to hold on. #4 ARCTIC LAKE finished fourth in his 2017 debut at this level. He was a winner second off the layoff last year and could repeat that. #1 RICH AND ON FIRE bumped a foe fairly soundly at the start last time out and finished an even fourth, beating two foes that were out of it the second the gate opened. His best effort can win this race but it's a case of whether or not he's at his best.

Race 3: 2-7-3
This is the first trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity! #2 A RECKLESS AFFAIR is by Fire Finder out of Reckless Wish, a mare who won her two year old debut and was Stakes placed as a juvenile. She posted a fairly quick gate work on June 21. #7 JESS TUFF had a quick gate work on June 28. His dam was a two year old winner who qualified to two futurities and finished second in the Alex Picov Memorial. #3 ELENORR is a full sister to Albertt, who despite being a bit of a slow developer ran very credibly in his two year old debut. She may be better than her workout times suggest.

Race 4: 1-2-6
This is the second trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #1 HANOVER HILL STOLI is out of Ima Running Stoli, who was a two time winner as a two year old who qualified to the Grade 2 Mile High Futurity in Colorado. He has been working well. #2 JUNOIMZOOMIN is out of Jessshazoom, a decent two year old runner who raced until she was seven. She shows two quick gate works. #6 SMOAKN GUN showed improvement in his most recent workout. His dam, Jamies Gotta Gun, ran some decent races as a juvenile and won the Ajax Downs Maiden Stakes in 2013.

Race 5: 5-3-6
This is the third and final trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity! #5 ROYAL HATRICK is by Fire Finder out of Special Royal Takeon. Special Royal Takeon has produced two very nice runners in Now Is Forever and Embrace Extravagence. She has been working well and may be tough. #3 TOO MUCH WHITE exchanged a few bumps and raced a little greenly on debut. He has the advantage of race day experience. #6 HELLFIRES MISTRESS has gradually improved in her workouts. Her dam was a two year old winner who had a solid juvenile season. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 6: 7-5-4
This race offers Late Double wagering. #7 TRES FORTUNE bumped a foe at the start but ran a very credible third behind Fishn For a Corona, a horse who had already won a NW2, and One Dashin Rose, who ran a good third in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. He seems like a very honest trier. #5 GOGO JANGLES finished fourth in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. He came back with a good looking win. The race shows no time but I came up with a hand time that works out to a 90 speed index. He could double up here. #4 GRABIN AWARDS has only one win in 15 starts, but has hit the top three on nine occasions. He was in a very competitive field last time out and could grab a piece of it here.

Race 7: 7-2-6
#7 FISHN FOR A CORONA broke her maiden facing NW2 and came right back to beat NW2 again. She takes the next step and could very realistically keep her undefeated streak going. #2 A GAME DASHER scored a speed index win two back before running a very good second behind Rouge River Cartel, who is having a very good season. She has only missed the board once in her eight race career. #6 SITUATION CRITICAL took 2016 off but came back this year and has been close in each of her three starts so far. She's a hard trier and it wouldn't be surprising to see her find the winner's circle here.

Thank you and good luck to everyone joining us today!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Arrogate Wins Del Mar Match Race

Juddmonte Farms' Arrogate, the richest Thoroughbred in North American racing, was an easy winner in his match race over Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber's El Huerfano at Del Mar in San Diego on Saturday.

      Winning the 1 1/16th mile contest in dominate fashion, Arrogate was 19 3/4 lengths in front of his competitor at the wire, extending his win streak to eight wins, including the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic and 2017 Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup. The four year old grey colt earned $18,000 for the win, increasing his record career earnings to $17,102,600.

    It is worth noting that the race was run simultaneously with the Grade II San Diego Handicap, which was contested between Accelerate, Donworth and Cat Burglar.