Today we've got an eight race program at Ajax Downs. The feature is the first Stakes race of the year, the Picov Derby! We also have a two year race and an open allowance for older horses. Here are my program selections.
Race 1: 5-7-1
#5 Extra Foxy Prince showed speed in his June 10th work, 220 yards in 12.46 from the gate. His dam won her debut easily with a 90 speed index, and won four of her nine starts. Fellow Renee Wilson trainee #7 Sharpe Dressed Man worked 220 from the gate in 12.82 over a sloppy track. His dam also won her debut. He must be considered a threat. #1 Rolling Ring is part of an entry for the McNichols and trainer Davy Ward. The workouts leave something or be desired but these connections are usually a factor with two year olds.
Race 2: 3-4-6
#3 Eyesa Zoomin is such a tough horse here. He won in this class on June 1st, has a super solid record here at Ajax, and has yet to lose going 330 yards. #4 Tres Okey, a ten year old Palomino, was a neck behind #6 Storytime Blue time. Storytime Blue already had a race into her so she had a fitness edge. On their best days, Tres Okey is the faster horse. Storytime Blue will be my third choice, she has hit the board in six of ten starts and draws outside. I just don't think she's fast enough when the other two are on their top game.
Race 3: 2-3-7
#2 Sweet Okey ran a solid third on May 25th. She has every right to improve second time off the layoff. Her biggest competition is #3 Cash In For Sugar, who has run two good races already this year. I think this is a two horse race, #7 Everything Fast can round things out. He has yet to win in 15 starts, but he has plenty of good races and should run well.
Race 4: 2-1-5
#2 Code 36 is the winningest horse in this field with seven career victories. Trainer Lee Baker is two-for-three so far this meet, and this guy's speed figures are very solid. I'll give him the call. #1 Bedem kicked off 2014 facing Mitford. That was a super tough race, he finds more suitable company here. He loves to finish second or third. #5 Down Home Girl didn't do much running on June 1st, but she makes her second start off the layoff and drops in class. I think it's between Code 36 and Bedem for the win, however.
Race 5: 8-9-7
#8 La Push won her seasonal debut on May 25th. It only took her two starts to break her maiden, and in think there is room for her to improve. #9 Mr Eazy is the classiest horse in this race, dropping in class from a Picov Derby trial. I don't think he'll be 8-1 at post time, likely much shorter, but 8-1 is a bad morning line. The only reason I didn't have him on top is because I think La Push has potential to get better as she gets more experience. #7 Waitin For Momma exits a decent third in this condition. The top two choices are tougher than what she's been facing, but she looks better than the rest.
Race 6: 3-1-5
This is a very competitive open Allowance for older horses going 330 yards. #3 The Fdd Map came back to Ajax in winning fashion after a rough winter in Florida. If he can run as well as he did last time he's a great bet at 6-1. #1 Jesswatchme found the Florida company too tough, but should be better back here in Ontario. He shows a very nice 13.53 250 yard gate work coming into this. He's capable. #5 Piranhaaa won against good company on June 1st, beating McM Tres Episode, who went on to win a Picov Maturity trial. He's never missed the board at Ajax. If you're playing the Pick 3 or Pick 4, I strongly recommend going deep in this leg.
Race 7: 3-9-1
The first Stakes event of the season, this is the $104,750 Picov Derby. To me, this race comes down to the top two qualifiers. #3 Mr Victory Six won his trial as the second fastest time, .01 slower than #9 Streakinshagginwagon. Mr Victory Six faced horses who were so much better as a two year old, and now that he has a start over the track I think he'll be the best horse. Streakinshagginwagon certainly is the one who could beat him. He's shown no lack of ability, he did run a very respectable race at Los Alamitos last year. #1 Zip Kode was the other trial winner. She is a three time stakes winner who has a record of 9-6-2-0 here at Ajax. She may not be as fast as the other two trial winners, but she can round things out at 8-1.
Race 8: 10-9-3
#10 Totally Nuts has run several races that are fast enough to win against this bunch, including a third in last year's Maple Leaf Futurity. He draws outside, and it's worth noting that his best race came from the outside gate. #9 Ivy Switch finished a 1/4 length behind Totally Nuts last time. Prior to that she ran a close third in his career debut. She's a player with some improvement. #3 Runaway Cause finished second before being DQd on June 1st. I don't think she's as fast as my top two, but I think she's better than the rest.
Good luck to everyone playing today!