Race 1: 3-4-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #3 KOOL KINDA IVORY won despite flipping in the gate on debut last year over Albertt, who was a solid winner here last week. He returned with a troubled but respectable fourth behind Alakazaam in a Futurity trial, then showed good speed despite being bumped to finish second in an allowance with a very competitive speed figure. This is a horse who has been begging for a clean trip. #4 DM PAID IN CASH spent a fair number of starts going 110 yards and breaking just a bit slowly last year, but was generally quite competitive when racing at standard distances. She raced against open mares two weeks back, hopping and veering inwards in front of a slow breaking foe at the start, costing her a lot of early momentum. She really didn't run poorly all things considered. She has always been a capable mare and can definitely contend here. #1 ILLBEGONEFLYING exits the same race as Dm Paid In Cash, the mares open on May 15. She broke very smartly from the outside gate but was just outkicked late by classier foes. I'm not sure the move to the rail post will be particularly beneficial but she's second off the layoff and could be a big price. One to consider. Today's Early Double starts here.
Race 2: 2-1-5
This race begins the early Pick 3. #2 SNOW STORMING caught very tough fields in both of his starts as two year old. She debuted in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, caught Alakazaam, Ice Fishn & Rouge River Cartel, and finished an even sixth. She came back in a maiden, caught Alakazaam (again) and Country Boy 123, who was a game winner over to solid U.S. invaders in an AQHA Challenge Maiden trial last week, and raced a fairly game third. They gave her a shot going 110 yards two weeks ago but caught a ridiculously tough field, took a bump at the start and couldn't recover. That was probably a good prep and now gets to a conventional distance and an easier group. We'll see if she moves forward. #1 HOPE RAMBLES ON showed some heart last year, hitting the board twice and qualifying to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She raced on opening weekend, was bumped twice at the start but still finished gamely to be second behind the only horse in the race who avoided trouble. She certainly has a big shot here. #5 FAMES WINNER raced against winners throughout the 2015 campaign but was later DQd from his maiden win in 2014 for a medication violation. In his return to maiden company he bumped at the start but showed speed, dueled and was just outkicked by a horse who had a very fast start. He has every right to win but will almost certainly be a short price.
Race 3: 3-2-5
The $.20 Pick 4 starts here! #3 CHARTED BY DM kicked off 2015 with a narrow second behind The Fdd Map and later had a pair of thirds and win, earning $17,000 for the season. If he gets out well he should be tough, most of the rivals here look a bit slower than him. #2 RECKLESS AN WILD will likely be Charted By Dm's biggest competition. He is a two time Stakes winner, with the 2013 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity & 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby to his name. Unfortunately last year, despite hitting the board in half of his starts, he failed to get a win in eight tries. His speed figures have stayed competitive and he by no means hasn't been racing poorly and has every right to win in this spot. #5 SHARPE DRESSED MAN began 2015 with a win in a Speed Index race, came back with a close second in an Ontario Sired NW3 allowance, but then had trouble in his next three starts, being completely eliminated last time out. If there had been a NW3 allowance for him this week I likely would have picked him to win because he is a capable horse, but this is a fairly big class jump.
Race 4: 6-2-4
#6 PICKIN WILD COTTON impressed me in workouts prior to his debut last August. He kicked off his career with an easy win in an Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trial over Ice Fishn. In the final he had plenty of trouble with bumps and lugging in but finished a very game fourth (DQd to sixth.) In his final start, the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials, he broke slowly and was shut off twice. The rider stood up on his shortly before the wire but he still galloped out strongly. It's rare I mention gallop outs in Quarter Horse racing, but this caught my eye upon watching the replay. He moves to the barn of Bob Broadstock, worked well on May 11 and I suspect he could put in a very big effort today. #2 JESS SHAKE EM has hit the board in seven of her 11 starts. She had a good second behind Jess Wanna Have Fun, who I like, in July and followed that up with a maiden breaking win. She had a very easy breeze prepping for this and goes for connections who have had some success already this meet. #4 DAYTONA 500 looked good in her first two career starts, an OSS Futurity trial win and a runner up finish in the final, but really hasn't been able to continue that momentum. She raced two weeks ago, lunged a bit at the start but had a clear path and never really picked up her feet. We'll see if the ability is still there. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.
Race 5: 7-2-4
This race kicks off the Late Double. #7 RICH AND ON FIRE scored a very game maiden win at Ruidoso back in August, breaking very well, dueling, dropping back a bit past the 110y marker but rebidding strongly to get up. He was wiped out due to trouble in his two races after, veering out and bumping two back, then getting pinched back after a few bumps at Will Rogers last time. Hopefully he can get away cleanly. #2 JESS WANNA HAVE FUN was my choice in a race of the same condition on opening day after being very impressed with her training appearances. She drew the rail post that day, veered inwards but had a clear lead for the early yards and just could not keep it going, flattening out to be fifth. She may have needed that start, she was a winner second time out last year, so there's reason to believe she could be sharper today. We'll see. #4 ITOLDYOUILIKEROSES had a very respectable two year old season, a second behind Tres Sea, a win (DQd for a medication violation) over Rouge River Cartel, a third behind Do U Zoom & Speedocracy and an easy win against maidens to wrap up the season. She tried the open mares race two weeks ago, took a bit of a bump at the start and had to shift out a couple times to maintain a path but put in a solid effort. This is a much softer group and she has every right to win.
Race 6: 4-8-1
Today's feature is a QROOI Overnight Series Open for Ontario Sired three year olds. #4 SPEEDOCRACY has yet to miss the board in four starts, qualified to both the Ontario Sires Stakes and Alex Picov Memorial Futurities and had no shortage of trip trouble in either of them. In the Alex Picov, he broke inwards and bumped the foe to his inside, got straightened out but then between the 350 and 330 yard poles, the rival to his outside veered inwards and gave him a solid bump. He managed to pick his feet up to be a very good third. His two gate works this spring have been quite good. Hopefully he gets a clear path throughout this time. #8 ALAKAZAAM ran huge on opening weekend, blowing away a group of Ontario Sired NW2. He took a couple starts last year to figure things out but since then he's been an absolute pro. Had he not been DQd from his trial win on September 21, I stand by my opinion that he probably could have won the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year. I'm going to try and beat him at a short price, but he is a really nice race horse, simple as that. #1 ICE FISHN debuted with a solid second place finish behind Pickin Wild Cotton before turning the tables and winning the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity with a strong finishing kick. She returned to finish second behind Alakazaam in the Alex Picov Memorial trials before being placed first. Despite her solid trial run, she was vet scratched out of the final and did not race again in 2015. She returns here off of a quick gate work on April 27. One to consider if you want to try and beat Alakazaam.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!