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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Ajax Downs Opening Day Selections

It's that time of the year; Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs resumes for the 2016 season on Sunday, and frankly I couldn't be happier about it. For the third year my Four-Forty selections will be in the live racing program and I will also be posting them here. We have six races to begin the meet, with first post at 12:55 ET.

Race 1: 4-2-1
Happy Mother's Day and welcome to 2016 season of Quarter Horse Racing at Ajax Downs! #4 DASHIN CARTER debuted here in October, was bumped entering the stretch and showed solid late kick. He returned in April at Remington for a claiming tag, broke in but showed solid speed and was game throughout. He has a fitness edge over his foes here. #2 PYC TRICKIE LADY raced in a Futurity trial at Canterbury Park in Minnesota back in June. In that start she broke well but was forced outwards early and lost any momentum she may have had. She has worked twice from the gate prepping for her Ajax debut and has hopefully moved forward from two to three years old. #1 WAVIN caught one of the toughest 2yo maiden races of the 2015 season in her debut in August. She returned in late September, had unfortunate luck including the rider losing his irons, but still appeared to finished up well. She was a bit green in her gate work on April 20 but can certainly improve as she matures. Today's first race offers Daily Double wagering.

Race 2: 3-1-4
Race 2 begins the early Pick 3. #3 JJ MAXWELL is a very classy veteran of the Starter Allowance ranks with just under $100,000 in career earnings. He has proven to be effective when making his first start off of the winter layoff in several previous years and kept solid form throughout the 2015 season with the exception of his September 7 start. Jockey Neil Husbands is new to the Ontario Quarter Horse colony and looks for some early success here. #1 WAVING SANDY HOME showed class as a two year old back in 2014, finishing third in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity after winning a trial for that event. Last year she won her first start off of the winter layoff from the rail post, the same post she has today, and followed that up with a solid third behind the very respectable Deal a Fortune. She looked good in her gate work on April 25; I expect her to be ready. #4 IM PRETTY FAMES won the first race of the season last year and looks for more early season success in 2016. She is a nine year old veteran with 48 starts under her belt and showed that she was still quite game throughout the 2015 season. Certainly one to consider.

Race 3: 1-2-7
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #1 CC FIRE N ICE drew the rail in his 2015 debut, a QROOI Overnight Series Maiden for Ontario Sired runners, broke like a pro and was confident throughout. Factoring in the bad luck he had in a few starts his season was fairly solid last year, he did manage to qualify to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, and he's shown he can race well off the layoff. 10-1 would be a significant overlay. #2 DM AURORA is a horse who drove me crazy last year; she broke poorly or was bumped so many times but consistently finished up very well. She had a good gate work on May 2 and if she's fit enough off the layoff and manages to break clean she can be a factor here. #7 CARAWAYS ZOOMTO FAME was showing a bit of run in the early season last year and finally put it together in August, stringing together five consecutive top three finishes including an impressive win on October 12. If he's ready off the layoff he could grab a piece of this.

Race 4: 1-7-6
#1 JESS WANNA HAVE FUN began her career in 2014 at Turf Paradise in Arizona where she qualified to the Desert Classic Futurity in which she was beaten less than a length. She ran quite a few respectable races last year including a nice maiden win in July. She has really caught my eye training this year, she looks absolutely terrific and worked very well in company from the gate on April 25. The big question is whether or not she will run as good as she looks. #7 MAGIC OF CORONA makes his Ajax debut after spending the last two years campaigning in the States. He won his debut as a two year old at Remington Park but has been disappointing ever since, going from Futurity and Derby trials at Ruidoso, Lone Star and Remington to the Allowance ranks at Prairie Meadows. He had no excuse in his last start in Iowa but hopefully the class drop will help him. He showed improvement from his April 18 to April 27 workouts and probably shouldn't be completely ignored at a long price. #6 SEIS ZOOM raced twice as a two year old, scoring an easy win in the maiden ranks second time out in a field that included next-out winner Kinda Likea Lovesong. She will have to be able to handle older foes here. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered in this race.

Race 5: 5-2-7
Today's fifth race is the start of the Late Double. #5 PIRANHAAA kicked off 2015 with a good third place finish in a Picov Maturity trial behind One Famous Glass and Sm Chicks N Garters, two of the best horses in Ontario last year. After that he was plagued with trouble at the gate and was shut down for the season after a disappointing effort in a high Speed Index race. He has breezed twice in company prepping for this season and both times looked quite good while outworking his company. With his back class I am absolutely happy to give him a shot here. #2 ONE KOOL WAVE makes his first start since September 2014 with a pair of very quick breezes. He's a tough horse to argue against, 19 wins, three track records and just under $330,000 in earnings to his name is an incredibly impressive resume. The hope to beat him is that he will need a start off of the long layoff, but there's a good chance he will be just fine and if you get 5-1 on him he's probably worth betting. #7 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER went 0-for-12 last year but managed to hit the board in eight of those tries. He is very good at grinding out cheques at class levels similar to this.

Race 6: 4-1-8
#4 BLUE SPEEDO faced some very tough company as a two year old. In his second start, a trial to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, he finished fourth behind Panther Hero, who went on to win the Futurity, race a respectable sixth in the G3 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Lone Star and was named the AQHA Racing Canadian Champion of 2015. This colt had a solid gate breeze on April 25 and makes his first start against Ontario Sired foes. #1 ALBERTT raced once last year against open maidens and finished a game second behind Kool Kinda Ivory, who continued to race well in tougher company. With two gate works under his belt he should be ready, and he gets to face Ontario Sired rivals here. #8 BOBBY GARROD raced three times as a two year old, each time in Ontario Sired races, and showed improvement each time, ending the season with a respectable third in an Allowance event behind Sugarmans Delight and Kool Kinda Ivory, both winners. We will see how he performs off the layoff.

Thank you for joining us and good luck!

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