Monday, 1 September 2014

All American Futurity + Ajax Downs Labour Day Selections

It's finally time for the biggest Quarter Horse race of the year! The Grade I $2,600,000 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs is this year's richest Quarter Horse race, and features the best juveniles covering the classic 440 yard distance. Let's take a look.

The All American Futurity
This race should have Kiss My Hocks, who should win. But due to wind speed and the two day trial system, Kiss My Hocks didn't qualify and chose to skip today's All American Juvenile. Nevertheless, even with Kiss My Hocks out, there is one horse in here who I love and I think will be very tough to beat. #3 Jm Miracle has won trials to all three Triple Crown races and has qualified to all of them. He finished a good second to Kiss My Hocks in the Ruidoso, but was pinched back at the break in the Rainbow and finished eight. In his All American trial, he broke very well and held safely by 3/4 of a length, earning a 100 speed figure, the highest of the first day of trials. To his inside is his main competition, #2 Bodacious Eagle. He has also won trials for and qualified to all of the Triple Crown races. In the Ruidoso he was third, a length behind Jm Miracle, and in the Rainbow he was fourth beaten only a 1/2 a length, but he was yielding late. He seems to not being able to sustain his run when the competition gets tougher. His trial win was very nice, rallying late to get up by a nose. 102 was his speed figure, the highest of the second day and all the trials overall. He's a nice horse, but I think he's a step behind Jm Miracle. The actual morning line favourite here is neither of these horse. Instead, #10 Im a Fancy Pyc. I've heard that this horse is scratching but I don't know for sure. His claim to fame is winning this year's Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity. He also qualified to the Grade I Heritage Place where he got bumped at the break and finished seventh, placed sixth. He was a very impressive trial winner, but was vanned off after the race. If he's running, I think he should be faded. If he's scratched, that's that. There are a few nice horses to put underneath. #6 Sam Crow ran second in the Ruidoso Juvenile, then won a Rainbow Futurity trial by a length after stumbling at the break. He won his All American trial by 2 1/4 lengths with a 96 speed figure, and he's 15-1 on the morning. He can be involved for a share. 5-1 shot #1 Apollitical Blood was an impressive trial winner, 2 1/2 lengths, 94 speed figure, who qualified for and finished fifth in the Grade I Ed Burke Million Futurity. Two horses I'm not a fan of are #8 Exquisite Stride and #9 Thunderball B. They qualified only because the wind turned in their favour, but they don't have the class or probably the talent. #5 Mad About the Moon is a horse I should mention, he was a nose behind Bodacious Eagle in their trial, got a 101 speed figure with that, fought very gamely and lost the bob. 20-1 on him has to make him worth involving. I love #3 Jm Miracle, I think he's the winner.
My plays for the All American Futurity:
WIN - #3
TRIACTOR - 3/2,5,6/1,2,4,5,6 $12 for a $1 base.

We've also got a great card of racing at Ajax Downs for the holiday! Our feature is our richest race of the year, the $131,450 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity! Ontario's best two year olds go 400 yards for their share of the big purse. Here are my program selections.

Race 1: 4-5-1
Happy Labour Day! We have a great holiday card here at Ajax Downs today, so thank you for joining us! A field of six maiden two year olds start the day. #4 Mountain Cartel is a debut runner for trainer Jason Pascoe. He is very well bred, by Grade 1 winning sire Carters Cartel and out of local Stakes winning dam Rona Mountain. On August 13th he worked 250 yards from the gate in 13.63. Looks good to me. #5 Favorite Leader is a Texas bred who debuted back on July 20th for leading trainer Renee Wilson, but had little to offer. She has had a bit of time off now, and improvement could be in store. #1 Ttt Kellys Second debuted in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, but showed no run at all. That race was won by Stakes winner Jumping Guitar. This is much easier company, but improvement is necessary if this horse wants to win. Be sure to play the Daily Double in this race!

Race 2: 2-5-1
The Early Pick 3 kicks off here. #2 Make Out Artist made his season debut on August 3rd and caught a field that included What Ta Wear, a very tough mare. With some second off the shelf improvement, this is the horse to beat. #5 Charted By Dm exits a third place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on August 19th. He really ran a big race there. I'm not sure cutting back to 350 yards is the best move for him, however. #1 Mels Dash made a big run to be third last week after stumbling at the start. That race was won by All Wacked Out, a multiple Stakes winning earner of over $215,000. With a clean break this gelding could be a factor.

Race 3: 3-5-8
#3 Kool N Kinda Special has raced four times this year and has been facing some very tough horses such as Piranhaaa and Eyesa Zoomn. He drops in class here to a level that is certainly within his reach. #5 Cole Miner cruised in a $10,000 claimer last time, beating A Shore Thing and Cat Vision. That was a tougher spot and his speed figure last time was strong; the one to beat. #8 Down Home Girl had the lead most of the way in a 330 yard $5,000 starter last time. Today she cuts back to 300 which should benefit her, but faces tougher foes. She can round it out.

Race 4: 6-3-1
Race 4 is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #6 Six Shootin Tex competed twice last year in races that created several next out winners. He returns with some decent workouts, most recently 250 yards from the gate in 13.88 on August 6th. I'll give him a shot off the layoff. #3 Arising Hero had failed to hit the board in her first seven starts, but turned things around and ran second on August 17th. Today she looks to improve more by dropping in for $5,000 claiming, and should be considered a big factor. #1 Lookin to Be Iconic showed little in her first two starts but dropped in for the tag on August 10th and ran a much improved second. She certainly fits in with this bunch.

Race 5: 2-6-8
This race is an open allowance for older Ontario Sired horses going 250 yards. #2 Cruwysn the Arctic is a four time winner in 2014 from six starts. He exits a runner up finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity, where he broke quickly but was no match for the always tough Jesskissmytexas. The completely on fire Aron Hunt takes over riding duties today. #6 Not Looking to Shake loves 250 yards, sporting a record of 5-4-0-1 at the distance. His wicked gate speed always makes him a factor in these shorter races. #8 Pegasos One Underpar finished fourth in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity last time. His speed figures this season got lower once he hit 400 yards, so I'm thinking the cutback will be to his benefit.

Race 6: 2-5-1
Speaking of shorter distances, here's a 110 yard 'Gridiron Gallop!" #2 Tough Twist ran a very good second at the 110 yard distance last time, just getting nipped at the wire. A duplicate of that effort should be good enough to win today. #5 Freds Angel was not running well early in the season, but turned things around on August 4th to win at a big price. Despite being winless at 110 yards, she has hit the board in half of her ten attempts. #1 Extravagant Moves exits a win on July 27th going 250 yards. Her two tries at 110 yards have both been respectable, but in my opinion she's not worth playing at 8-5. Late Pick 3 wagering is available here.

Race 7: 8-5-4
This is our feature race of the day, the $131,450 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. Ontario's best two year olds will line up for the 400 yard dash. #8 Waving Sandy Home finished sixth in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge, but she got a rough trip and lost all momentum; completely forgivable. She came back in her trial for this race,broke alertly and won by an open length easily. I'm going with her for a mild upset. #5 Jumping Guitar is three for three since coming to Ajax, including a Stakes win in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge. She's very fast and has a powerful run in her. A very big threat, the likely favourite. #4 Arizona Bennie was the fastest qualifier due to a tailwind that wasn't there for Jumping Guitar. He looked good in his trial win. It's interesting to note that American rider Shanley Jackson, who won last week's Bank of America Challenge Championship under Joltin Jess, returns to ride this gelding. Certainly a contender. Be sure to play the Late Double, full fields of 10 in both ends!

Race 8: 5-10-2
Ontario Sired maiden two year olds are our finale on this Labour Day card. #5 Itsallaboutramblin debuted on August 10th, wasn't super quick from the break and ended up trailing. I think he may break better today now that he's had a start. This is Shanley Jackson's only other mount on the card, so he'll be an interesting one to watch for sure. #10 Not Stepping Down debuts for Kim Ito off of a bullet workout on August 21st, 250 yards from the gate in 13.56. If he shows that kind of speed today he should be a factor. #2 Truly I Can Fly would not behave in his first trio of attempts, bucking and rearing, but he tried actually racing last time and was only beaten a neck at today's distance. He's the likely post time favourite in my opinion. Competitive race.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

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