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Monday, 5 September 2016

Ajax Downs Selections September 5 Labour Day

Yesterday at Ajax Downs we had a trio of Picov Derby trials, highlighted by Country Boy 123 following up on his Adequan Derby Challenge win to set the fastest qualifying time. Today we have our End Of Summer Bash at the track. The card features the finals of the QROOI Sprint Series going 250 yards and the QROOI Distance Series going 440 yards. They will go as the final two races on today's eight-race card. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-3-1
Happy Labour Day from all of us at Ajax Downs! #5 ARISING MIRACLE finished a close second behind Home Ice in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trials before finishing seventh in the final. He returned with a solid fourth behind One Special Domino. He doesn't appear to be facing any world beaters today. #3 MOUNTAINS ECHO qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity with a well beaten fifth place finish behind Home to Vegas, then finished sixth in the final starting from the outside post. He gets in easier here. #1 EYESA DEXTER debuted on August 11 but got a rough break and was no threat. He may improve second time out with a clean trip. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 3-2-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #3 PYC TRICKIE LADY exits a good third behind Valiant Stoli Time and Eyesa Wild Boy, who returned to win. She is a very sharp breaker and the cutback to 250 yards should benefit her. #2 BDB GHOST TRANE finished sixth in the same race Pyc Trickie Lady exits. She showed a bit of run in spite of some trouble in an August 7 race that produced next out winner Cr Party With Corona, and doesn't have many tough looking foes to deal with here. #6 TRICKLUCK is a five year old first time starter. There is nothing worth noting about his pedigree other than the fact he is out of a Thoroughbred dam. He shows a quick gate workout at Hazel on August 23 and might pull a surprise.

Race 3: 5-3-2
#5 SOXY N I KNOW IT won her first two starts of the year in Speed Index races, then ran a very good second behind Rockin Miss Kitty in a conditioned allowance race. She looks like a factor dropping back into the Speed Index ranks. #3 JESS WANNA HAVE FUN ran a good dead-heat second behind Itoldyouilikeroses on May 29. She returns off of the layoff here and looked very good in her workout on August 31. I don't mind her at all at a price. #2 FLY FAST FOR KAYLEY has two wins at the Speed Index ranks this year and several other very good races. He didn't offer much in a QROOI Overnight Series race for non-stakes winners last time out but he was due for a bounce at some point and that was tougher competition. He looks very competitive.

Race 4: 2-6-1
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #2 ITTAKESTWOTOOTANGO was fractious behind the gate in his debut but still managed to finish second, then came back to rally into a second place finish behind Eyesa Wild Boy. He's clearly got some ability and I think the extra little bit of distance is good for him. #6 FLEET SELECT finished fifth behind Ittakestwotootango in the Eyesa Wild Boy race after a bump at the start. He had been knocking on the door in the claiming ranks with speed figures that look competitive with this group. #1 WINNERS PROSPECT had been running okay, then put in a good second place finish behind Dees Winner on August 21. His speed figures are okay and there isn't a ton of talent in this field.

Race 5: 8-1-2
#8 SELECTIVE MEMORY has been facing very tough company this season and hasn't been doing too bad. Last time out he was beaten a half length in a race topped by Runaway Cause, Speedocracy and First Element. He gets an easier assignment here. #1 CARTELS FAST MONEY didn't fare well in her first two starts of the season but raced an okay fifth behind First Down the Track in a QROOI Sprint Series race then came back to win a Speed Index race last time out. When she gets out well she is usually the one they have to run down. #2 A MERE OUTLAW makes her first start of the year here. She had a solid 2015, hitting the top two in half of her eight starts including a win at Hialeah. She had a good breeze on August 17 prepping for her return.

Race 6: 1-8-6
This race is the start of the late Pick 3. #1 HOPE RAMBLES ON nearly beat Alakazaam in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trials, but got a very rough break in the final and finished sixth of seven. She came right back to win a NW2 in spite of some trouble. I don't see why she couldn't double up here. #8 FAMES WINNER was an easy winner of Memory of Jay two back, then came back to run third behind Eyesa Speedy Simon and R Zooming Lady after a bump at the start. He's finished no worse than fourth this year and certainly looks competitive with this group. #6 CC FIRE N ICE last raced on July 10, where he was beaten only a neck by Albertt. He has some ability and should be ready returning off the layoff.

Race 7: 5-3-1
Today's co-feature is the QROOI Sprint Series going 250 yards. #5 EYESA ZOOMN exits the last Sprint Series race going 220 where he was beaten only a head by the razor-sharp First Down the Track. If he can duplicate that effort, he will be tough to beat. He's a very consistent runner. #3 ONE KOOL WAVE kicked off the year with a win in an optional claimer, and has hit the board in the first two legs of the Sprint Series. He was beaten only a head after a less than perfect start in the 110 yard race, then was third by a neck behind First Down the Track and Eyesa Zoomn. He has had a terrific career, 20 wins in 34 starts is incredibly impressive, and seeing him win here should come as a shock to no one. #1 COLE MINER won his first three starts of the year, then finished a good third behind the very live Storytime Blue last time out. I don't think he really rivals my top two choices, but he has every right to pick up a cheque. Late Double wagering is offered here.

Race 8: 7-6-2
Our other co-feature is the QROOI Distance Series going the classic distance of 440 yards. #7 FIRST ELEMENT has two wins and two seconds in six starts at 440 yards. Last time out he drew the rail post going 400 and was beaten only a neck by Runaway Cause. I think drawing outside will help him here. #6 RUNAWAY CAUSE missed by only a head to Fast Man Vic in the last leg of the distance series going 400 yards. Fast Man Vic returned to win the Bank of America Regional Challenge Championship, and this mare came back to win a QROOI Overnight Series race for non-Stakes winners over Speedocracy and First Element. She will be going 440 yards for the first time here. #2 BOLD SIX LOVE has made two starts at 440 yards, in the trials and final of last year's Alex Picov Memorial Championship. He didn't do very well in those races, but they were very tough fields. He exits a sixth place finish behind Runaway Cause and First Element, but he was only a 1/2 length off of the win. I don't think he minds the extra 40 yards at all.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Ajax Downs Selections September 4 2016

Double the fun this long weekend at Ajax Downs as we have racing today and tomorrow for Labour Day! We have seven races today, highlighted by a trio of trials for the Picov Derby, with all of our three-year old stars looking for a spot in the final. The trials go as Races 2 through 4. First post is 12:55 ET. Here are my selections for today's card.

Race 1: 3-1-6
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #3 ITSALLABOUTRAMBLIN had a pair of runner up finishes on July 10 and July 31 but got a rough break last time out, finishing a non threatening sixth. He's been pretty consistent at the Speed Index level and can be a factor with a clean start. #1 WINNER ON A LARK was disqualified from a Maiden win three back but came right back to win in a Speed Index race. She exits a close third in a NW2 allowance and looks like a big threat here. #6 CATES PURDY BUFFALO has been on the edges a lot this season. He exits a good third behind Winner On a Lark on August 7. Earlier in the season he ran an alright third behind Kool Kinda Ivory and Dm Paid In Cash, respectable competition. It wouldn't surprise me to see him break through at any time. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 1-6-2
This is the first of three trials to the Picov Derby. It also kicks off the early Pick 3. #1 SPEEDOCRACY has missed the board only once in his nine race career. He ran a very good third in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby three back, then came back to win a QROOI Overnight Series race for Ontario bred three year olds. Last time out he was a very close second facing older foes in a QROOI Overnight Series race for non-stakes winners, which featured some solid competition. He's a very sharp young horse. #6 SEIS ZOOM has been no worse than fourth in her five starts this year. She raced a very good third in the Adequan Derby Regional Challenge trials, then finished a close second in the final behind Country Boy 123. She has been racing well against good horses all year, it's tough to fault her. #2 COUNTRYS COMIN BAC was a winner over Seis Zoom in his first start of the year, then followed that up with a game second behind Cole Miner on June 12. He was a bit even on July 24, finishing sixth behind Speedocracy, then broke poorly last time out. He does have some ability and if he breaks well he could hit the ticket at a bit of a price today.

Race 3: 7-6-1
This is the second of three trials to the Picov Derby. #7 ICE FISHN was a winner of an Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trial but was a vet scratch from the final on July 3. She returned in the QROOI Overnight Series for ON-bred three year olds on July 24 and finished a good fourth. If she's at her best she's a contender. #6 COUNTRY BOY 123 is the obvious one to beat here. He has won four of his five starts this year with one close second behind Alakazaam. The lowest speed figure he has run is a 70. He's exiting a win in the Adequan Derby Regional Challenge. He's just in top form and he has yet to show any signs of slowing down. #1 SUGARMANS DELIGHT was beaten only a nose by Alakazaam in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby three starts back. He followed that up with a good third behind Speedocracy in the QROOI Overnight Series race that Ice Fishn finished fourth in, then won an open allowance for Ontario Sired runners facing older foes, including Reckless n Wild and Im Aquicktrick. He has done well from the rail post in previous starts.

Race 4: 7-1-2
This is the third and final trial to the Picov Derby, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4. #7 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU has soared through her conditions and now steps up into these trials. The waters do get a lot deeper here and I wouldn't want too short of a price on her but it wouldn't surprise me if she's good enough. #1 ALAKAZAAM won his first five starts of the season including the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. His streak came to an end in the Adequan Derby Regional Challenge, where he broke out and bumped into Panther Hero, recovering to miss the win by only a neck, but was disqualified for the interference at the start. I can't find a way to fault him. #2 PANTHER HERO won his first start of the year, then ran a good third in the Adequan trials behind Alakazaam and Country Boy 123. He lost at the start in the final when Alakazaam gave him a solid bump, finishing sixth placed fifth. He was terrific as a two year old and it wouldn't be a shock to see him return to that form at any time.

Race 5: 6-7-2
This race is a 110 yard "Gridiron Gallop!" #6 DEAL A FORTUNE finished second at this distance last time out. Last year in his first try at 110 yards he finished a very good second behind First Down the Track but was disqualified for interference. He looks like the best horse in this field, he just needs to break well. #7 DM KING CITY makes his first start at 110 yards here. He has won three of his eight races this year, including a 220 yard race on opening day. He should have no troubles with the short trip. #2 FAST FERDINAND is another who his making his initial 110 yard start here. He exits a second place finish in an optional claimer behind Channelislandsflyer. It's tough to say how he will like 110, all of the races on his form are 300 yards or further, but he has some talent and wouldn't be a total surprise. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 6: 1-5-4
The Late Double starts here. #1 LOOKIN AT LUCY scored a maiden win here last September. She didn't fare well in a start at Remington in May then returned here to run a well beaten fifth (placed fourth) in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity trials. She takes a big drop in class here and may go overlooked in the wagering. #5 JUST CHASE ME finished a good third behind No Cerveza For You three back. Last time out he benefited from a clear path the second the gate opened and drew clear. It's not likely that everything will go his way at the start like that again, but he's got some run and looks like a factor. #4 IM SPEEDY was a winner three back, had a tough trip on July 17 then ran a good second behind Winner On a Lark on August 7. He's not always a great breaker but if he does leave well he's a contender.

Race 7: 5-8-6
#5 BAC IN FIRST has shown steady improvement in her workouts. She worked 250 yards from the gate on August 24 in 13.74, looked good doing it and galloped out very well. Hopefully she breaks well here. #8 LUMMIS FIRST exits a good third place finish on August 21 behind One Special Domino, who was coming off of a good second place finish behind Denali Teller Off. This grey colt is well bred, by champion First Down Dash and seems to be on the upswing. #6 DASH TO MIAMI was a well beaten fourth on debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trials, then ran a respectable fifth in the final when starting from the rail post. He gets to face easier foes here and has yet to have a sharp break. Getting out well could make a big difference for him.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Ajax Downs Selections August 28

We are back again with another Sunday card of racing at Ajax Downs. The race office was buzzing this week as we have nine races today. The features are Races 5 and 7, a QROOI Overnight Series for two year olds and an open allowance for Ontario Sired runners respectively. Lots of good racing to enjoy this week. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 7-2-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #7 YAWLPLAYINGWITHFIRE finished third behind Home to Vegas and Later Tater in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trials, but had a troubled trip in the final and finished eighth. He draws outside for the first time today which could be beneficial. #2 THE FLASH DRIVE was a close third on debut behind Denali Teller Off, who already had two good races including a troubled third in the John Deere Juvenile Regional Challenge, and stablemate One Special Domino, who returned to win last week. He overcame a stumble at the start on debut and could be very dangerous if he gets out well. #1 KONA CORONA is by multiple G1 winner, million dollar earning, 2006 Champion of Champions winning sire Wave Carver, and is a half brother to A Plain Brown Rapper, who was a Grade 2 winner at two. He was a vet scratch on July 24 but posted a bullet gate work on August 17. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 2-4-1
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #2 ZEES PYC debuted for $10,000 claiming at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico in June but broke outwards from the far outside and offered little. She gets to face easier foes here and may improve with experience and a better break. #4 CR PARTY WITH CORONA showed little in three U.S. starts but ran a respectable third in her Ajax debut. She was DQd to last for interference but is a serious contender if she can stay straight today. #1 PUNCH BUGGY CHESTNUT debuted on August 11 with an even run. He may have needed a start, he could get a clear path along the inside in this short field and is out of a dam who qualified to a G3 Futurity at Arapahoe Park. He'll likely be a long price and probably isn't totally impossible here.

Race 3: 4-3-2
#4 STREAKING EYE OPENER makes his first start of the season with two works down at Fort Erie in preparation. In his 2015 season debut, he was a very close second behind Bold Six Love. He spent most of last year facing very tough horses and looks quite threatening against this group if he's at his best. #3 MARTHAS JESS GOLD finished third behind Storytime Blue and Channelislandsflyer last time out, both who have come back to win their next starts. She had a pair of wins last year and now takes the drop into $3,000 claiming. #2 THATSALOTOFSUGAR was okay in her first two starts of the year but was a non-factor last time out. She drops in class from Ontario Sired NW2 allowance into $3,000 claiming and may be a factor with a clean trip.

Race 4: 8-7-5
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #8 ITTAKESTWOTOOTANGO debuted on August 14. He was a bit fractious behind the gate then acted up a bit while waiting for the start. Despite that, he raced a good second behind Just Chase Me, who had a clear lead right away and was never getting caught. If this gelding keeps himself composed at the gate, he could improve enough to be a big player here. #7 EYESA WILD BOY is on a streak of four consecutive runner-up finishes. However, he has been very narrowly beaten in his last two tries and drops from open to Ontario Sired company today. The last time he faced Ontario Sired runners, he was second behind No Cerveza For You, who has won two more races since then. To see him score the breakout win today would come as no shock. #5 EYE GOT YER BACK was a fast closing second behind Passum Lane last time out. He came back to be a good third in a fairly tough NW2 allowance. This gelding looks very competitive with this group in the speed figure department.

Race 5: 7-1-4
Today's co-feature is a QROOI Overnight Series race for two year olds. #7 DENALI TELLER OFF was a troubled third in the John Deere Juvenile Regional Challenge behind stablemate Rpainted Pistol, then returned to score a maiden win over One Special Domino, a well bred filly who came back to win last week. She may end up going a bit overlooked here but she's certainly got some talent. #1 HOME ICE was a winner on debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trials, then ran a very close second in the final. I'm always a little leery about young horses with the rail post but he seems to have class and classy horses often aren't bothered by these kind of things. #4 RPAINTED PISTOL broke his maiden on debut at Remington Park in March. Although he was a non-factor in his second start, he returned here with a decisive win in the John Deere Juvenile Regional Challenge. He did benefit from avoiding the trouble that plagued most of the inside runners in that race, and he did lug in a fair bit, but it's tough to fault him too much for a Stakes win. He's the class of the race, I'd say.

Race 6: 5-7-1
#5 PASSUM LANE took a big early lead and held on to win at this distance two starts back. Last time out he finished a game third behind Hope Rambles On, who was taking a big class drop. If he breaks as well as he did in his win he has every right to be a factor here. #7 FASTER THAN U qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby where he finished a well beaten fifth (placed fourth.) He returned to break his maiden by a narrow margin. He has the highest average speed figure of this group. #1 IAMASWEETMAN exits a pair of respectable races, a fourth in a decent Speed Index race and then a third behind Fames Winner and Memory of Jay at this level on August 11. He could grab a piece of the action here.

Race 7: 4-5-1
The second co-feature today is an Ontario Sired Open allowance race. #4 FIESTY ICON overcame a stumbling start to win the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity over Jesskissmytexas last time out. He has eight wins in his 15 race career including two Stakes wins. He's certainly the one to beat today. #5 CRUWYSN THE ARCTIC was last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity winner. So far this year he has had quite a bit of poor luck. However, last time out he was a game third in the QROOI Distance Series behind Fast Man Vic and Runaway Cause. Both of those runners returned to win their next starts, the former winning the Bank of America Challenge Regional Championship. He's a solid horse who may offer a good price. #1 DM PAID IN CASH was non-threatening at 110 yards last time out, and before that was in very tough in the QROOI Sprint Series behind First Down the Track, Eyesa Zoomn and One Kool Wave, but had great form in her previous starts. She was a winner four back and finished third behind Sign It Down and The Fdd Map after that. She's another longshot who isn't completely impossible. The Late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 8: 6-2-8
Late Double wagering is offered in this race. #6 MS VICTORITA made her Ajax debut on August 7 with a game third behind Rockin Miss Kitty and Soxy N I Know It, who have been in good form throughout the season. Prior to that she was a close second at Hazel, where she has had all of her previous success. If she happens to improve in her second start over the local surface she could be quite tough. #2 MS DASHIN CORONA has been racing primarily in Starter Allowances and facing tough competition. Jj Maxwell, Cole Miner, Caraway Blue, Panther Hero, Storytime Blue, these are all very tough horses, and she has been very respectable facing them. This group looks easier and she looks like the one to beat. #8 TTT KELLYS REGAN kicked off the season with a runner up finish behind Country Boy 123. He did not fare too well in the Rockin Miss Kitty race that Ms Victorita exits, but raced well in a 110 yard race last time out, finishing third behind Arctic Fame and Deal a Fortune. He deserves a look in this spot.

Race 9: 2-11(AE)-1
#2 ALBERTT has won half of his six starts this year, and has had trouble in two of his three losses. He's proven himself to be a nice little horse and doesn't have to beat any world beaters today. #11 FOOL ON FIRE has drawn on the also-eligible list and will need an early scratch to participate today. He was a qualifier to last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. In his most recent start he was an okay fourth (placed third) behind Jj Maxwell despite some trip trouble. He will get the outside post if he draws in which could help him get a clean run. #1 ARCTIC LAKE was fourth beaten less than a length in his first start of the season, which came at this level. He had a decent run from the rail post last year and may improve a bit second off the layoff.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Ajax Downs Selections August 21

Happy Sunday! We have an eight-race card today at Ajax Downs. For the on-track fans, it is Family Day, so there is sure to be a big crowd with lots of activities to enjoy between the races. Our feature today is Race 8, the Bank of America Regional Challenge Championship going the classic distance of 440 yards. We also have a QROOI Overnight Series race for horses who have never won a Stake, which features some talented runners. Here are my selections for today's card.

Race 1: 5-2-1
Welcome to Family Day at Ajax Downs! #5 UPPER CANADA was a winner against maidens for this claiming price in October. So far this year he has caught some tough fields at higher levels, including horses like Alakazaam and Do U Zoom. Last time out he finished fourth behind Hope Rambles On, Six Shootin Tex and Passum Lane, a respectable group. He gets a class drop and a small field here. #2 SENATOR LOGAN exits a maiden win on August 7 where he overcame a stumbling start. The fields he has been facing have not been the greatest so the drop in for $7,000 is sensible. He has a solid chance to repeat. #1 PAPPA TRICK won for this tag against maidens to kick off the season, and had a second at this same level on June 19. He is not particularly consistent but appears to fit in with this group. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 2-1-4
This race begins the early Pick 3. #2 TWO KOOL TO WAVE is by multiple Graded Stakes winning sire Wave Carver, who won the 2006 G1 Champion of Champions. His dam, One Kool Bud, was a multiple Stakes winner in Ontario who was not far beaten in the G3 All American Congress Futurity at Beulah Park in 2005. He had a good gate work on August 10 and certainly has the breeding to be a runner. #1 GRABIN AWARDS was much the best in his August 11 race but was bounced around at the start which cost him the race. A clean break would have left him an easy winner. He was knocking on the door last year and should be more than capable of a win. #4 DEES WINNER caught tough fields in his first two starts and failed to threaten but has been competitive in his most recent tries. It's tough to say how this field compares to his recent competition but he doesn't look outclassed at all.

Race 3: 6-1-5
#6 R ZOOMING LADY has had trouble leaving the gate but consistently puts in a good run. She had a pair of nice wins last year and a fourth behind First Down the Track, The Fdd Map and Sign It Down. Last time out she had the rail post but today she gets outside and goes 400 yards, a distance that should aid her late running style. #1 EYESA SPEEDY SIMON has qualified to both Maturities run so far this year and exits a second place finish at this level. He has serious class to him, he was a Stakes winner as a two year old, but has been a bit win shy. Regardless, a serious contender. #5 COUNTRYS COMIN BAC won his first start of the year then followed that up with a very game second behind the very sharp Cole Miner. Last time out he faced a tough group of three year olds in a QROOI Overnight Series race and was a bit even, but comes down to a conditioned allowance race here. He should be able to fare well.

Race 4: 6-5-3
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #6 SIX SHOOTIN TEX had three very good runs last year wrapped up by an easy maiden win. He made his return this year with a very good runner up finish behind the class-dropping Hope Rambles On, who nearly beat Alakazaam earlier in the season. There aren't any world beaters here and this colt has been very consistent in his limited starts. #5 EYE SAID IM NED had an okay third behind No Cerveza For You two back but was in way too tough last time out when entered in the QROOI Distance Series and broke poorly. He drops back in to the NW2 condition where he looks like a factor. #3 CARAWAYS DASH N FAST had a pair of respectable third place finishes to kick off the season but has been a bit more even in her most recent tries. She has had some good races behind Six Shootin Tex but probably needs a peak effort to win today.

Race 5: 5-7-1
#5 ITSALLABOUTRAMBLIN exits a pair of runner up finishes at this level. He's consistently moved forward in his four tries this year and was a winner at this level last fall. #7 CHARTED TO WIN is not a super consistent type, but kicked off the year with a win and finished second behind No Cerveza For You three starts back. His last two runs have not been great but he's not incapable of being competitive in this group. #1 JJ MAXWELL had no excuse when facing a soft field last time out, finishing a weakening fifth. It's tough to justify that effort but he is the classiest runner in this group and could possibly turnaround his form.

Race 6: 7-4-6
#7 ONE SPECIAL DOMINO debuted on July 31 with a close second behind Denali Teller Off, who already had a start under her belt. She is a well bred filly and has run the fastest speed figure of all those who have started in this group. #4 ARISING MIRACLE finished a close second behind Home Ice in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trials but failed to threaten in the final. Home Ice maintained his form with a very close second behind Home to Vegas. He could turn things around here. #6 LUMMIS FIRST is by the great First Down Dash out of a respectable mare, but has been disappointing in his two starts thus far. He returns after a five week layoff and may improve with more experience. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 7: 3-4-1
This race is a QROOI Overnight Series race for horses who have never won a Stakes race. #3 SIGN IT DOWN exits back to back wins, beating One Kool Wave at 110 yards two back then holding off The Fdd Map last time out. She's yet to miss the board this year and looks very competitive with this group. #4 RUNAWAY CAUSE had a big early lead last time out in the QROOI Distance Series but was run down by Fast Man Vic in the final yards. When she can get out well she has tremendous early speed, the question is always whether or not she can hold. 8-1 off of her last effort is a playable price. #1 FIRST ELEMENT won with a closing move going 440 yards two back but broke poorly last time out in the QROOI Distance Series race. He is an on-and-off type but if he runs his best effort he can be competitive. The Late Double begins here.

Race 8: 3-5-2
Today's feature is the $54,720US Bank of America Regional Challenge Championship. #3 FAST MAN VIC seems to need every inch of this 440 yard distance. Although he won at shorter distances in Florida and he exits a close 400 yard win, he has been breaking mid-field and closing late consistently since coming to Ajax. His lone start at 440 yards had him third behind Jessies First Down and Rc Me Leaving You, two very nice horses. I really don't think this gelding has shown his best since he's come here. including that win last time out. We'll see how he does here. #5 THE FDD MAP has had two close seconds this year, once behind First Down the Track and another closing late behind Sign It Down. He is remarkably consistent, 11 wins and 23 top three finishes in 39 starts, and has had success at this distance. Always one to consider. #2 ONE FAMOUS GLASS kicked off the year with a win in the Picov Maturity trials then finishes a good second in the final. Last time out in the first QROOI Distance Series race he finished third behind First Down the Track and The Fdd Map. In his 24 starts at Ajax Downs he has won 12 and hit the board in 21, so it's very tough to argue he shouldn't be right there today.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ajax Downs Selections August 14

After a fun card of racing on Thursday evening, we return to Sunday afternoon racing today at Ajax Downs. We have eight races on today's card, with a pair of Stakes features. Race 7 is the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity and Race 8 is the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge, where Alakazaam will go for his seventh consecutive win. Here are my selections for today's card.


Race 1: 5-3-2
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 YAWL KEEP TEXTIN exits a narrow second behind Dm Paid In Cash, and had two third place finishes behind Alakazaam in her prior starts. She gets easier competition and short field here. #3 FAVORITE LEADER exits a win for $5,000 claiming. Two back she finished third in a race won by Country Boy 123. Her speed figures are competitive and she certainly warrants a look. #2 WILD BOYZ VICTORY has been no worse than fourth in six starts this year. She is a consistent trier and has done well in the Speed Index ranks. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 5-8-3
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #5 JUST CHASE ME was a gamer third behind No Cerveza For You, who has come back to win twice, on June 26. Last time out he caught a tough field and hopped at the start. Today's field is much softer, he just needs to break well. #8 BUSTER BRI has 10 second place finishes in 19 career starts with four thirds as well. She catches a softer than normal looking field and has a legitimate chance to finally get the win. #3 DASHING OUT OF VEGAS is a full brother to Home To Vegas, fastest qualifier to today's Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. He has broken poorly in both of his starts but could be a factor with a clean run.

Race 3: 4-3-1
#4 EYES THAT TELL beat Do U Zoom and Platinnum when facing NW2 two back, then scored a dominant win going 110 yards on July 21. She kept some tough company in 2015 and fared well and has proven tough when facing easier foes this year. #3 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER finished a good second behind Storytime Blue, who returned to win on Thursday two back then scored an easy win in a solid group last week. He hits the board plenty often enough and had a good effort off of a seven day turnaround last year. #1 ITZ ALL GOOD has not had a ton of luck this year but raced gamely to be third behind Eyes That Tell in the July 21 110 yard race. He can finish well in the late yards and may end up with a clear inside path in this short field.

Race 4: 5-8-2
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #5 VALIANT STOLI TIME had a tough trip in a trial for the Adequan Derby Challenge last time and lost his irons at the start in the start prior. He kicked off the year with solid efforts behind horses like Country Boy 123 and Memory of Jay. He's got some ability, he just needs a clean run. #8 EYESA WILD BOY has six seconds in nine career starts. In her last three starts he has been second behind Platinnum, No Cerveza For You & Fast Buck. He's got class and is likely the one to beat. #2 THE KATY SPECIAL was a qualifier to last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. She exits a close second on July 24 and has a good shot to pick up a piece of it here.

Race 5: 7-3-1
#7 RICH AND ON FIRE was second behind Do U Zoom last time and second behind the very nice Rockin Miss Kitty two back. His class is complimented by the fact that he won at Ruidoso Downs last year. One to consider. #3 HAL BENT qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby and finished fourth in the final, then came back with a close second behind Speedocracy. He's been keeping very tough company and should appreciate the class drop. #1 MAGIC OF CORONA has not been far behind Rich and on Fire in their last two starts. He has been fairly decent since coming to Ajax, racing better than some of his off-the-board finishes would suggest.

Race 6: 6-2-7
This race is a 110 yard Gridiron Gallop! #6 MEMORIES TIMES SIX was a good third at this distance when facing Sign It Down and One Kool Wave two back. Those two horses would absolutely tower above this field. A clean break should make him tough to beat. #2 DEAL A FORTUNE ran a close second behind First Down the Track going 110 yards in October 2015. That's another rival who would crush this field with ease. Last time he finished fourth in a QROOI Overnight Sprint Series race behind First Down the Track (again), Eyesa Zoomn and One Kool Wave. He looks live here. #7 ARCTIC FAME finished second behind Eyes That Tell at this distance on July 21 despite a bit of a stumble at the start. When he's at his best he can break very alertly and gets to work from the outside post. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 7: 3-9-5
Today's co-feature is the $68,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #3 HOME TO VEGAS won the first two year old race of the season easily, then came back to dominate in his trial for this race, setting the fastest qualifying time by nearly half a second. It will take a lot of improvement from someone to run him down. #9 ARISING MIRACLE finished a narrow second in his trial for this race. He has raced twice and drawn the rail post both times. Today he gets an outside post and that could be to his benefit. #5 HOME ICE narrowly beat Arising Miracle in their trial. A clean break should be enough to make this gelding a contender today. The Late Double begins here.

Race 8: 4-2-7
The other co-feature today is the $28,800US Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #4 PANTHER HERO was last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity winner and put in a respectable effort in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Lone Star. He finished a solid third in the trials for today's race and can turn the tables with his best effort. #2 ALAKAZAAM is five-for-five this year, has six in a row and has every chance in the world to make it seven today. There's not a lot to say about him; he knows how to win and he keeps doing it. I've been picking against him all year and I'm too stubborn to change, but he is a very deserving favourite today. #7 COUNTRY BOY 123 had three consecutive wins to kick off the season, including the AQHA Challenge Maiden, and was only a head behind Alakazaam in the trials. He may have an advantage with an outside draw and could prove best with a clean trip.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Ajax Downs Selections August 7

Another Sunday is upon us which means it's race day at Ajax Downs! No trials or Stakes events today, but we do have a QROOI Overnight Distance series race going 400 yards featuring a very nice group of older runners. First post is 12:55 ET. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-3-2
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 BLUE SPEEDO exits a close third at this distance on July 24. In the start prior he finished second behind Speedocracy in a trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. Speedocracy has since won a QROOI Overnight race for three year olds. He's hit the board in all three starts this year and looks live today. #3 FASTER THAN U qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby with a third place finish behind Ice Fishn then finished a well beaten fifth in the final. He has the highest recent speed figures of this group. #2 DEES WINNER didn't show much in his first two starts but woke up with a good runner up finish behind Tete De Jaune, who had been knocking on the door for a while. If he retains that form he could be a contender here. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 5-3-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #5 BDB GHOST TRANE made her career debut on July 24, had the rail post, showed some speed but flattened out. She gets off of the rail, cuts back in distance and has some experience under her belt. I wouldn't be surprised to see some improvement. #3 SENATOR LOGAN had been a bit disappointing in his first two starts at Ajax but improved last time out with a fourth place finish, beaten less than a length and well clear of Bdb Ghost Trane. If he gets out alertly he's a serious contender. #6 CR PARTY WITH CORONA has made three starts in Texas and Oklahoma with no success. She had a good workout from the gate on June 28 and should appreciate the class drop.

Race 3: 8-4-1
#8 FAST FERDINAND made his Ajax debut in a tough group of allowance optional claimers and ran an even fifth. As a two year old he qualified to a pair of futurities in the States, beaten a length in the G2 Speedhorse Futurity at Fair Meadows. He drops in class and has some experience over the track.#4 BOLD SIX LOVE hasn't show much in three starts this year but has been racing in the very toughest races he could be in. He had three wins at somewhat similar class levels last year and should appreciate the drop here. #1 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER had a good second behind the always tough Caraway Blue three back and then caught the very live Storytime Blue in his two most recent starts. He's been putting in good runs against tough foes throughout the season and has every right to be competitive here.

Race 4: 1-5-2
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #1 JJ MAXWELL is easily the classiest runner in this Speed Index race, with nine career wins and over $105,000 in earnings. He raced fairly well to be third behind Soxy N I Know It, who's been tough in these races this year. If he breaks clean I find it tough to see him getting beat here. #5 CATES PURDY BUFFALO was bothered at the break last time out but raced okay to be fourth two back, not far behind Jj Maxwell. He had a third place finish behind Kool Kinda Ivory and Dm Paid In Cash on May 29 which is certainly a respectable race. #2 IM SPEEDY broke his maiden two back in a race that produced next-out winner Passum Lane, but then had a tough trip in a NW2. Other than Jj Maxwell everyone else in this group is eligible for NW2 and this gelding certainly looks live against them.

Race 5: 8-2-3
#8 SOXY N I KNOW IT is two for two this year, both in Speed Index races. She ran a 64 speed figure two back and last time out beat Itsallaboutramblin and Jj Maxwell. She draws outside and shouldn't have too tough of a time handling the rise to NW3 allowance. #2 ROCKIN MISS KITTY beat a good group of NW2 two back, then took a big jump to an optional claiming race going 440 yards and was a very good second. She looks like the one to beat here. #3 TTT KELLYS REGAN had an unlucky 2015, putting in a lot of big efforts and taking a lot of close beats. He made his 2016 debut on Canada Day and finished second behind Country Boy 123. His speed figures fit with this group and he is worth a look. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 6: 7-3-6
Today's feature is a QROOI Overnight Distance Series race going 400 yards. #7 FAST MAN VIC had a terrific run down at Hialeah over the winter. He came up here and ran great in his first start but has been a bit more even than I anticipated in his last two. The competition changes today, though. Does he have to beat First Down the Track? No. Does he have to beat One Famous Glass? No. Does he have to beat The Fdd Map? No. I'm too stubborn to give up. #3 FIRST ELEMENT showed mild late run in his first two starts at Ajax but really woke up last time out when stretching to 440 yards, getting a solid optional claiming win. Although I do think 440 is better than 400 for him, I do think that last race could be a sign of more good things to come. #6 FIRST PRIZE OSCAR is two for three this year, with an okay fifth place finish in the last QROOI Overnight Distance Series race between wins. He's six for 14 in his career so it's tough to say he doesn't know how to win, and he doesn't look un-competitive at this level. The Late Double starts here.

Race 7: 7-1-2
#7 HOPE RAMBLES ON was an easy winner three back, then nearly managed to beat the red-hot Alakazaam in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trials. She had a rough in the final but returns here, dropping in class and looking like the one to beat. #1 CHARTED TO WIN was a close third in a Speed Index race three back, then finished second behind No Cerveza For You, but was even when facing NW3 last time out. He gets back into NW2 and has raced well from the rail post in the past. #2 PASSUM LANE broke terrific last time out, took a big early lead and held off a pair of rallying foes. He cuts back 20 yards for his jump into NW2 and if he can open up a big early lead again he may end up being tough to run down.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ajax Downs Selections July 31

Last week we had a pair of trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity, highlighted by an impressive win by Home to Vegas to set the fastest qualifying time. Today we switch our focus to the three year olds, with a pair of trials to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. We also have a QROOI Overnight Sprint Series race going 220 yards, featuring stablemates One Kool Wave and First Down the Track. It's sure to be a fun day of racing. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-2-3
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 DENALI TELLER OFF has made two starts and has shown some run against very respectable foes. She finished third on debut behind Home to Vegas and Zoxtobeyou, who both came back to win last week, the former being the fastest qualifier to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She then finished third in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge despite troubled trip along the inside. If she gets out clean she won't be easy to run down. #2 ONE SPECIAL DOMINO is by multiple Grade 1 placed sire Dominyun, who finished third in the 2010 All American Futurity. Her dam, Shenandoah Special finished no worse than fourth in her five start career here at Ajax, finishing third in a Futurity. She has had some solid workouts in preparation for her debut. #3 CLASSIC COURAGE is a Texas-bred out of a mare named Motorin, who won a Grade 3 Futurity at Turf Paradise and also finished second in a Grade 3 Derby at Yavapai Downs. That Derby at Yavapai also featured a horse named Rockish, who was later brought up here to Ajax and won many races, including a three Stakes races. His sire, Captain Courage, finished third in the 2007 All American Futurity and also qualified to the next year's All American Derby. Her workouts have been okay but it will be interesting to see if she has any of the class her pedigree suggests she could possess. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 3-6-2
This race is the first of two trials to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #3 PANTHER HERO kicked off the season with an allowance score in a respectable group of horses. After winning a pair of Stakes races here last year, he went on to race respectably in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship and Lone Star, and I'm assuming the Adequan Challenge Championship is a goal for him this year. He's always a contender. #6 ALAKAZAAM is on an absolute roll, undefeated in four starts this year and exiting a win in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. He was an easy winner before being DQd in his lone start at the 400 yard distance and he seems to like to roll down the outside. He's proven to be quite good at winning. #2 COUNTRY BOY 123 gave Alakazaam a run for his money at the end of the 2015 season and has gone three for three this year, including a win in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. This is his toughest assignment so far this year but his speed figures are competitive with his main competitors. Early Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 3: 6-4-3
This race is the second and final trial to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #6 BUBBLES CARTEL GAL qualified to the Sunshine State Derby at this distance in Florida and raced better than the sixth beaten 3 3/4 lengths looks on paper. Her races her have been alright but I have a feeling more distance will benefit her. #4 ITOLDYOUILIKEROSES was an impressive winner three back, returned with a second place finish behind Panther Hero, but lost all chance at the start last time out. She's a hard trying type with a consistent record of solid races. #3 DO U ZOOM was beaten a head in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. After two runner up finishes behind Seis Zoom, who returns here and Eyes That Tell, who came back to win a 110 yard race with a 107 speed index, he took an easy win on July 21 over Rich and On Fire and Rouge River Cartel, both horses I think are alright. He's hit the board in seven of his nine career starts, eight if not for a disqualification.

Race 4: 6-7-1
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #6 JIMMY BOYZ CARTEL was a winner in his first start of the year then had two very good efforts in races won by Albertt and Eyes That Tell. Last time out he drew the rail post in a competitive group of horses primarily made up of recent US imports and reared at the start. He gets an easier group here and hopefully will break well. #7 CARAWAYS DASH N FAST finished a 1/2 length in front of Jimmy Boyz Cartel last time out but had a much better start. I was a fan of her throughout her 2015 campaign and I still think she's an alright runner. She fits in this group. #3 FAMES WINNER had a pair of seconds and a fourth behind No Cerveza For You to start off the year. He then ended up catching a soft group after scratches and won easily on July 10. He will likely end up with a clear path along the inside.

Race 5: 3-4-6
#3 EYESA SPEEDY SIMON has qualified to both the Picov Maturity and the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity this year. Although he was a non-factor in the OSS Maturity final, he did run a good second behind eventual Maturity winner Fiesty Icon. The last time this faced a straight conditioned group, a NW2 on October 12, he was a winner over Jess Kiss My Dash. He should be tough dropping into NW3 today. #4 CHARTED TO WIN exits a second place finish behind No Cerveza For You. Although he is still eligible for NW2, he is lightly raced and catches a lot of rivals who have had many chances. As a 10-1 shot, he is worth a look. #6 WILD BOYZ VICTORY was very game in defeat last time out, stumbling at the start, rallying but just being outkicked late to be third by a neck. She was a winner two back and has been no worse than fourth this year. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 6: 5-8-3
Today's feature is a QROOI Overnight Sprint Series going 220 yards. It is also the start of the Late Double. #5 FIRST DOWN THE TRACK has been terrific this year, winning the Picov Maturity and the first leg of the QROOI Overnight Distance Series. Although she has never raced going 220 yards before, she is a terrific breaker and has a win going 110 yards to back up her early speed credentials. She's a money maker. #8 EYESA ZOOMN has hit the board 26 times in his 35 start career. He has been a very tough Starter Allowance horse for a while, but if you look back to July 5 2015 he ran a good second behind Mitford, beating Mr Victory Six. He's a solid breaker, 1-for-1 at 220 yards and several good 110 yard races, and he has quite a bit of class. #3 ONE KOOL WAVE looked like a lock in the 110 yard Sprint Series race on Canada Day and had the early lead but was run down by entry-mate Sign It Down who got up in spite of an early stumble. That raised some concerns for me as he figured to win easily. Can he win today? Absolutely, he's a class machine with a spectacular record. Would I want to bet him at a short price? No, not particularly. You be the judge on what value on him is.

Race 7: 5-2-4
#5 LOLAMO was flat in his first start of the year but has put in two fairly respectable efforts behind Caraway Blue since then. He takes the drop into the Speed Index race and seems like a contender. #2 ITSALLABOUTRAMBLIN was even in his first two starts of the season but rebounded with a second place finish behind the game Soxy N I Know It on July 10. He had a similar progression last year, non threatening in his first race but following that up with a pair of wins. He wouldn't surprise me at all here. #4 IM PRETTY FAMES finished narrowly in front of Lolamo on May 22, had a troubled trip on June 12 then rebounded with a third place finish behind Soxy N I Know It on June 26. She has two wins at this distance and had a respectable looking breeze on July 27. She is capable of a winning effort.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!