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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Ajax Downs Selections July 12

Today is Challenge Day at Ajax Downs! We have three featured races today, the John Deere Regional Juvenile Challenge, the AQHA Challenge Maiden, and the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. The Adequan features two new faces to Ajax, including Hialeah Derby winner Seize the Win! It's a terrific card. First post is 12:55 ET. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 7-1A-4
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #7 EYE SELECT is looking for her first win in her sixth career start. She ran a good second on Canada Day and always races well when she faces rivals she fits with. #1A IAMASWEETMAN got his maiden win facing a soft group of Ontario Sired runners on Canada Day and goes into the Speed Index Race instead of a NW2 Allowance. He & his entrymate should both fit well here. #4 DOWN N TUFF is another maiden facing winners. He was second best in a maiden Speed Index on June 21, but his speed figures suggest he can be competitive against this group. The Daily Double starts in this race.

Race 2: 7-4-5
This race starts the early Pick 3. #7 A MERE OUTLAW was a winner at Hialeah back in January, but hasn't been as effective in three starts since, most recently facing a tough group of NW4/Op$10,000CLM. She drops back in to a NW3, and was freshened up with a good breeze on Wednesday. #4 LEXIA was a game winner in a NW2 on May 31. The runner up, Selective Memory, came back to win a NW2 and also appears in this race. She goes off Lasix today. #5 TWO FAMOUS EAGLES makes his Ajax debut here. He exits a maiden win at Indiana Grand. I would rather see him in a NW2, which he is still eligible for, but good American shippers are usually dangerous.

Race 3: 4-5-2
#4 GRASSHOPPER FLATS has had poor luck in both of his starts this year, but still managed to put in respectable performances. With a clean trip he may be able to find his way into the winner's circle. #5 DOWN ON CASH has been second in both of her starts this season, also having some poor trip luck. She's shown that she's game and just needs to put it all together. #2 ITZ ALL GOOD made his career debut on June 21, keeping close early but weakening after bumping with Down On Cash after 220 yards. He could improve with a start under his belt.

Race 4: 5-2-1
Race 4 kicks off the $.20 Pick 4. #5 JESS KISS MY DASH debuts here for the combo of Kim Ito and Brian Bell. He is the full brother to Jesskissmytexas, a multiple Stakes winner, out of Strawfly Fortune, who was a top mare here back in 2004 and 2005. He has shown steady improvement in his workouts and should be tough here. #2 CR BLOWINBYEYAWL showed improvement in his last start, finishing a half length behind Embrace Extravagence. He wasn't great, but I have a feeling 220 is not his best distance. Today's 300 yard run may be better for him. #1 CASINO LOVE MILL debuts here after training down in Michigan. Her works have been okay, they don't jump off the page. Her dam was an okay claiming mare down in Texas and Louisiana, she won two and hit the board in six of her 10 starts. A longshot to round things out, perhaps.

Pick 4 ticket: 5/2,5/1,7,8/3 $1.20 for $.20

Race 5: 5-2-7
This race is our first feature, the $25,560 John Deere Regional Juvenile Challenge. #5 TRES SEA was a very impressive winner on June 21, bumping at the start but drawing off nicely. She's a well bred filly who looks good for a repeat here. #2 COOL ALLEY debuted with a third at Remington, then came up here to finish a rallying third behind Tres Sea, missing second by a neck. The extra distance should benefit him. #7 FOREST GOT SKUNKED debuted at Fair Meadows Tulsa about a month ago and finished a good second. This is a tougher affair. Jockey Berkley Packer will fly in to ride.

Race 6: 8-7-1
This race is our second feature, the $23,715 AQHA Challenge Maiden. #8 WESTERN HAULER WAYNE is one of two in this field who have managed to cross the wire first. He exits a maiden $5,000 claiming win at Fair Meadows Tulsa, has the highest class rating of the field, and looms dangerous in his Ajax debut. #7 RANDOM AUDIT won her first two starts of the year, but took a bump at the start and lost her footing in her most recent outing. With a clean break, she is a threat. #1 EFFORTLESS GAME exits a second behind Embrace Extravagence, a sharp filly who came back to win nicely again (until she was DQd for interference.) Entrymate #1A BLAZIN IVORY has been second in five of her six starts. A solid entry. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 7: 3-1-4
Our third and biggest feature of the day is the $29,070 Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #3 SEIZE THE WIN ended his two year old year with a driving win in the Governor's Stakes at Indiana Grand, then went on to win the $417,000 Hialeah Derby impressively. He's winless in three starts since, exiting a second in a trial for the Heritage Place Derby behind a horse who was beaten a nose in the 2014, G1 Heritage Place Futurity. He is the class of this field in a big way. #1 TOODLES DESTINY has the best shot to beat Seize the Win. This filly has won five of her eight starts, all in Texas and Oklahoma. She exits a win in a $20,000 claiming race at Remington where she posted a very fast 99 speed figure. Owner Bryan Calloway thought she was worth the $20,000 investment and claimed her out of that race. She posted a very quick breeze at Hazel Park on Tuesday. #4 DEAL A FORTUNE has won both of his starts here at Ajax, a NW2 and a NW3 Allowance. He is stepping up in class here and will have a tough time winning, but he should put in a respectable performance. The late Double kicks off here.
Seize the Win winning the Hialeah Derby

Race 8: 10-9-3
#10 JESS WANNA HAVE FUN made her Ajax debut on May 31 over a sloppy track. She rallied to be beaten only a nose that day. Over a fast track she probably would have won. She should be able to get there today. #9 IZA JAZZ GAL makes her debut here. She worked very well on June 23 and I'm looking forward to seeing how she performs here. #3 AGAINST THE CURRENT was beaten only a neck in an Ontario Sired Maiden on June 7. He will face a bit tougher today, but his form has been decent.

Good luck to everyone playing!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Ajax Downs Selections July 5th

Another Sunday comes around which means another card of Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs. We have 8 races today, highlighted by a $20,000 QROOI Overnight Series Open, which features the return of 2014 Alex Picov Memorial Championship winner Country Boy Deluxe, as well as Picov Maturity winner Sm Chicks N Garters. Here are my selections for this week's card.

Race 1: 2-6-3
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #2 SOXY N I KNOW IT is a Texas-bred making her debut with two quick gate workouts at Hazel Park. She is out of a dam named Cartel Leader, who was Graded Stakes placed in Texas. #6 FLICK ME A GUINESS posted a solid gate workout on June 17. Her dam won her career debut, and she may have an advantage with the outside post, as this field is primarily first time starters. #3 HAL BENT looked good in his June 17 workout. His dam qualified to a Futurity here back in 2007. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 3-4-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #3 CARAWAY BLUE has been very good in both of his starts this year, losing his first by only a neck and winning very nicely on June 14. He's an 11 time winner and will be tough here. #4 CHISSLED AND FIESTY was an upset winner on May 24 and came back to be a good third behind Caraway Blue, nosed out for second. She seems to be better this year than she has been in recent seasons. #6 DONTELLMEMYBUSINESS was a sharp winner in a Speed Index race on June 7 over a horse named First Prize Oscar, who came back to win a NW2 Allowance on Canada Day. He will need to step up a bit to win against this company.

Race 3: 2-8-6
#2 SPEED OF LIFE showed ability as a two year old, but hasn't been able to get out of the gate well in either of her starts this year. She drops into the Speed Index race where she should be tough with a good break. #8 SHESASTREAKINCHICK was very strong late in winning a Speed Index race on June 14. Although she isn't the most consistent, a repeat of that effort makes her a threat in this race. #6 SHAKE PRETTY BABY ended 2014 with a win and kicked off 2015 in the same fashion. She dueled very gamely along the rail and got up in a headbob. She was consistently racing well last year and can certainly run well again today.

Race 4: 4-2-3
Race 4 kicks off the $.20 Pick 4. #4 ILLTHINKABOUTIT makes her Ajax debut here, coming in from Oklahoma. She exits a good 2nd in a $7,500 claimer at Remington. She's a multiple Stakes winner in Alberta who should fit here. #2 MITFORD is the one to beat here. He finished a very good second in the Picov Maturity before getting another second behind One Famous Glass in a QROOI Overnight Series Open. He's always a threat. #3 EYESA ZOOMN is one of the toughest Starter Allowance horses in Ontario who steps up into tougher company today. He has hit the board in 20 of his 29 starts and should be able to race well with this company at his best.

Pick 4 ticket: 1,2,3,4/7,8/5,9,10/5 $4.80 for $.20

Race 5: 7-8-6
#7 BOLD SIX LOVE had poor luck in his seasonal debut but ran on very well to be third. He was supposed to run a couple of weeks ago but threw a fit in the gate and had to be scratched. Watch his behaviour today. If he breaks well, I expect a big effort out of him. #8 TOUGH TWIST ended his 2014 campaign with an impressive win in a 110 yard dash. He comes into his 2015 debut with a fast breeze down at Hazel Park. #6 MS DASHIN CORONA finished a decent third in a $10,000 claiming NW2 last time. The winner of that race, This Chics Leaving, came back to score a NW3/Optional Claiming win on Canada Day. She has moved forward a bit in each of her starts this year and could run well here today.

Race 6: 5-10-9
#5 EMBRACE EXTRAVAGENCE was an impressive debut winner, lunging at the start but recovering and rallying to get up in the slop going only 220 yards. With a better break she should be very tough moving forward into the NW2. #10 ARIZONA BENNIE finished second in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. He looked good in his June 17 breeze. We'll see if he can keep his 2 year old form going. #9 ARCTIC SPECIAL won his career debut last year, an Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trial, but was a Steward's scratch out of the final and didn't race again in 2014. He made his 2015 debut at Hazel Park, breaking poorly but rallying for the runner up spot. He's proven to be quite game in both of his starts. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 7: 5-4-7
Today's feature is a $20,000 QROOI Overnight Series Open. It also starts the Late Double. #5 COUNTRY BOY DELUXE won last year's Alex Picov Memorial Championship, then went down to Hialeah for a couple of starts. He beat a horse named Pyro on January 5. Pyro went on to go to Sam Houston, where he ended up winning a Grade II. This horse has serious class and is the one to beat. #4 SM CHICKS N GARTERS exits an impressive win in the Picov Memorial, where he won under a hand drive. He has proven that he is a serious horse who deserves respect. #7 THE FDD MAP made his 2015 debut in a 250 yard conditioned allowance, and came with a very strong late rally to get the win. This horse is best at further distances, so he should appreciate the 100 yard stretch out today.

Race 8: 5-3-4
#5 FAVORITE LEADER was an impressive winner in a Maiden Speed Index race on June 14, taking bumps on both sides but surging for the win. Although she moves out of the Maiden condition, she catches a soft looking bunch here. #3 NOT STEPPIN DOWN dropped into a Speed Index race on June 7, broke fast and won easily despite lugging out badly. Most of the horses he beat that day return in this race. #4 RFIRST DEELIGHT came off of a very long layoff in the Not Steppin Down race. She was fractious that day and reared a bit at the start, but managed to run okay for fourth. If she's a bit more settled and breaks better, she could round things out here.

Good luck to everyone playing today!