Race 1: 5-2-4
Happy Thanksgiving! Welcome to a terrific 10 race holiday card here at Ajax Downs! #5 Jesse James Alibi raced a very game third last week, breaking from gate #3 on a day that was very outside favouring. Forgetting the race in which she dropped the rider, she has been in very good form and deserves a look here. It's also worth noting that she always races well at the end of the season. #2 Shake Pretty Baby led most of the way in a 350 yard race against Storytime Blue last time, but was run down late to finish fourth, but quite close to being second. Today she drops in class down to $3,000 claiming. #4 Kool N Kinda Special exits the same race as Jesse James Alibi from last week. This gelding broke from the outside post that day and got up in the final stride to win by a nose. The outside post certainly aided him, but he's in good form and has a shot at doubling up. This race starts the Early Double.
Race 2: 7-4-6
This race kicks off the Early Pick 3. #7 Memories Times Six raced in this condition two weeks ago, leading most of the way but getting caught very late to be beaten a head at 350 yards. Today he cuts back to 250 yards, a cutback that I think will be very beneficial. #4 Jess Carolina kicked off 2014 with two runner up finishes, including one against the top level mares, but trailed in her most recent start in top level allowance company. She's had some time off and returns now in softer company. We'll see how she does. #6 A Plain Brown Rapper finished third last time, the same race where Memories Times Six was second. This gelding has talent, he was a Graded Stakes winner at 2 and was beaten a nose in a Grade II in Iowa last September, but after a long 2013 season that included a trip to California and a campaign in Florida, he hasn't been as good this year. He does like 250 yards; let's see if he can get his first 2014 victory. Note that he was a vet scratch last week.
Race 3: 2-6-1
#2 Probie ran alright facing some tough horses in a starter allowance race last time. His three efforts prior, which include a win over a nice horse named Cat Vision and two seconds behind Sign It Down and Bold Six Love were all very respectable efforts. I like the class drop and this is a horse who has been good at the end of the season for the past two years. #6 Catch a Heart was a Stakes winner at Delta Downs when he was two. Since coming to Ajax he has been okay, most recently finishing third against Speed Index company. This horse is capable of winning this race, but he frequently throws clunkers. Which Catch a Heart will we get today? #1 Cameron Dash started the season off with a second and two wins, but his three most recent performances have all been poor. He does drop from top level allowance to this non-earners allowance, so improvement is expected.
Race 4: 7-3-4
The $.20 Pick 4 starts here! #7 Waitin for Momma was beaten only a nose against NW2 allowance company two weeks back, earning a 52 speed figure. He now takes a sideways class move into Speed Index and could be tough breaking from the outside post. #3 Crazy Hearted ran a decent third against NW2 allowance last time back on August 26. Last year her form was strong at the end of the season, we'll see if that pattern continues. #4 Cash In For Sugar was fifth beaten 3/4 of a length in a Speed Index race last time. Most of her races this year have been decent and this is not a tough group.
Race 5: 5-7-8
This race is a 110 yard 'Gridiron Gallop,' so you'll want to be watching this one from the rail! #5 Dm Paid In Cash is one of only two in here who has raced at 110 yards before. He tried the distance on Canada Day, broke very fast and lead most of the way, but was caught late by One Kool Wave, who is a 110 yard specialist. Then on September 1, in a 250 yard allowance, he broke very well again and led most of the way but weakened late. I think 110 yards fits him very well. #7 Pegasos One Underpar is the only other member of this field to try 110 yards, finishing third in the same Canada Day race as Dm Paid In Cash. Last week he ran a very good second behind the very talented Jesskissmytexas. I expect a good run today. #8 Cruwysn the Arctic also ran in the Jesskissmytexas race last week, finishing last. I feel he did not like the sloppy going. He is four-for-eight this year and usually breaks very quickly; 110 yards should work for him.
Race 6: 4-3-6
#4 Red Kelly has a class rating of 59.76, which is 13 points higher than the second highest class rating of this field. He won an Ontario Sired starter allowance two starts back, then finished third behind Channelislandflyer and Eyesa Zoomn last time. This field is significantly easier, and this gelding is a six time winner facing a bunch of non winners of two. Looks very tough to me. #3 Jess What to Wear has been game in her last two starts, races which were won by Noisyboy and I Like Chics, both respectable horses. She should race well here. #6 Sofar Gone broke his maiden by an open length two starts back and came back to be a good third. The runner up in that race, Ssc Eye Get It, came back to win two weeks ago. He may like the outside post.
Race 7: 4-5-6
This race is an open allowance for three year olds going 350 yards. #4 Zoomin On Ice looked like a winner almost the entire time in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, but was run down in the final stride by the talented Reckless an Wild. His recent form has been very strong and I'm expecting a good run today. #5 Streakinshagginwagon kicked off the year with wins in a trial for and the final of the Picov Derby, and has continued to be solid. Most recently he finished a good third in an open allowance open to older horses, which was won by talented four year old mare What Ta Wear. He is the highest earner of the field with $69,899 in the bank. #6 Mr Victory Six exits a fourth place finish against older horses in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Championship. He did qualify for the final, but flipped in the starting gate and was a late vet scratch. This gelding clearly has plenty of talent, but watch his behavior in the paddock and in the warm up. He may not perform as well after his flip.
Race 8: 1-3-7
#1 This Chics Leavin debuted back on September 16 and finished fourth. She weaved in and out a bit in that race and likely would have been second or third had she stayed straight. I'm looking for some second time out improvement from this mare. #3 Random Audit was at a big disadvantage last week, breaking from the rail post on the sloppy track. She raced an okay third. Her two prior efforts were a close second and a close third. She's been knocking on the door, but just needs to open it. #7 The Diamond Cartel finished second in a maiden $5,000 claiming race last time, and was claimed by Renee Wilson. You don't see many claims here, and the return to a straight maiden as opposed to a claiming event makes me think the new connections think this horse will be alright. We'll see how she does. Remember that the Late Pick 3 begins here.
Race 9: 4-3-9
Today's featured event is the $95,400 Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. #4 Arctic Special debuted in his trial for this race, and won by an impressive length. He weaved in and out but still drew off late. If he had stayed straight he would have posted the fastest qualifying time. Let's see if we get some second time out improvement. #3 Arizona Bennie broke his maiden in a trial for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, and came back to finish second in the final behind the super-tough Jumping Guitar. In his trial for this race he was off a half step slow and took a light bump early but ran on nicely to be second, while the winner, Wild Boyz Victory, had a clean break and a totally clear running path. With a clean break things should work better for this gelding. #9 George Is Dashing was beaten a nose in a maiden race on September 1 and came back to win his trial for this race by a nose. He fought nicely to hold for the win in that race. I don't think he's the fastest in this race, but he does appear to have a lot of try in him. Remember to play the Late Double!
Race 10: 4-7-1
#4 Fool On Fire broke very alertly in his debut but was run down late. He now cuts back 30 yards which should be beneficial if he breaks as well as he did on debut. #7 Okey Dokey Fast exits a third behind Arctic Special in a trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She has also raced well against Sassy N Ready, who's a filly with some talent. She's likely going to be the favourite, and she does deserve it. #1 Fames Winner was third behind Fool On Fire last time. He has been decent so far in his career, and should run well today.
Good luck to everyone playing today, and have a happy Thanksgiving!