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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Ajax Downs Opening Day Selections

The time has come for another season of Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs. The weather has gotten nice, the trees are turning green, and the horses will be fast. I'm pleased to be back as the program handicapper at Ajax this year. Last year my selections hit at 36% with a positive ROI, and I'm hoping for an even better 2015. The races start at 12:55 ET, so be sure to tune in and give us a look. Here are my selections for the opener.

Race 1: 2-4-3
Welcome back to another season at Ajax Downs! We kick off 2015 with a Speed Index race. #2 Im Pretty Fames has been posting solid, in company workouts preparing for the new season. The first few months of 2014 went well for her, but towards the end she was facing far tougher horses than she could compete with. She drops into a logical spot here and should perform well. #4 Lolamo had a tough 2014, facing many trial and allowance fields, but showed some good efforts in the claiming ranks. He finds himself eligible for the Speed Index condition, where he fits well. He posted a bullet gate work in 13.42 on April 29, running with a tailwind. #3 Jess Royal Bucks only raced twice in 2014 after tailing off at the end of 2013. If the veteran gelding is going to be competitive, the Speed Index ranks are probably the best place for him to be racing. Daily Double wagering is available here.

Race 2: 1-3-5
Race 2 is a Maiden for three year olds and up. The Early Pick 3 starts here. #1 Cartels Fast Money raced twice at Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma in the fall, and has now found her way to Ontario. Her first start wasn't bad and her second was quite good. She should be able to find her way to the winner's circle against this company. #3 R Zoomin Lady made her second career start in October, finishing a neck behind Ttt Kellys Regan, who came back to win a $10,000 claiming NW2. She's had two works prepping for the season and has the best chance to upset the US shipper. #5 Caraways Zoomto Fame probably isn't fast enough to win this race, but has an edge to round things out over the other two, as he is an older horse with experience facing older while the others only faced two year olds last year. He has posted several good efforts against lower level maidens, hitting the board in five of his seven starts last year.

Race 3: 1-5-6
The third is a NW2 allowance for Ontario Sired horses. It also starts the $.20 Pick 4. #1 Sofar Gone is the fastest horse in this race based on the speed figures. He scored a decisive maiden win in a ten horse field last year and came back with two very game efforts in NW2 fields. Woodbine regular David Garcia comes into ride. I expect him to be the best horse in the field. #5 Lookin to Be Iconic was also a maiden winner in a ten horse field last year, but came back to race in the same field as Sofar Gone on October 13, racing evenly. She posted a bullet 220 breeze on April 29. She should race well here. #6 Shade of Grey showed talent as a two year old, ending the season with an easy win. She outraced Wild Boyz Victory (also in this field) twice. We'll see how she fares against older horses.

Pick 4 ticket: 1/4/3,5/1,3,4 $1.20 for $.20.

Race 4: 4-6-2
Race 4 is an Ontario Sired Maiden dash, and the start of the Late Pick 3. #4 Eye Select raced a decent second for $5,000 claiming to end the season. That was only her second career start, she faces a very soft bunch today, and she showed the gate speed that you want to win going 220 yards. She should be tough here. #6 Silk Shake has been very even thus far in her career, but has been fairly consistent in the speed figure department and faces an easy group. We'll see how she does here. #2 Flying Secrets is the class of the 3 year olds in this field, qualifying to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. His last three performances were very poor. I'm not sure how good he'll be, but as I stated, this is not a tough group of horses.

Race 5: 3-5-6
The fifth is a NW2 allowance race. #3 Bigtime Ticket raced at Hialeah Park over the winter, with a three race campaign against older horses that included a three length maiden $5,000 claiming win. He has both a class and fitness edge over this group. I do not think he should be as high as 9-2 here. #5 Holey Foose raced against some tough company last year, but dropped to the $7,000 claiming ranks in August and scored an easy win. Unfortunately, she was DQd. She was claimed from that race, but the original connections bought her back. They clearly like the horse, and she posted a bullet workout from the gate on April 27. Big threat here. #6 Speed of Life showed promise as a two year old, but had some issues behaving in the paddock that probably hindered her a bit. She looked very good in her April 29 work, and although I'm not sure she can beat older horses right off the bat, she's a filly I expect to have a good campaign this year. Watch out for her. The Late Double starts here.

Race 6: 1-4-3
The opening day card is closed out with a $7,000 starter allowance. #1 Jessies Leaving You is a quick gate breaker, as evident by her win at 110 yards last year. If she's on, she fits well in this group, and she should have an edge at the gate going 250. #4 Ourfirstorphan had a very good 2014, hitting the top two in six out of nine starts and only racing poorly against the top Stakes horses. It's a bit concerning that his only win last year came in a three horse field, but he's clearly talented either way and has to be considered a threat. #3 Cat Vision has a lot of back class, he's the 2012 Alex Picov Memorial Championship winner. Last year he faced allowance and starter allowance company, winning twice and hitting the top three in six out of seven tries. It's very tough to fault an older horse who still tries this hard.

     Good luck to everyone playing today! See you on track!

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