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!