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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Ajax Downs Selections June 26

Racing returns to Ajax Downs today as the track is hosting the Durham Caribbean Festival! No Stakes or trials today but there are some interesting horses sprinkled throughout the card, and we do have two QROOI Overnight series races for Ontario Sired maidens. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 3-5-1A
Welcome to the Durham Caribbean Festival at Ajax Downs! #3 SOXY N I KNOW IT drew the rail in her career debut and finished a solid second behind Hal Bent. The competition she faced in her next three starts was ridiculous; Panther Hero, Tres Sea Alakazaam, Speedocracy Do U Zoom, Itoldyouilikeroses, Rouge River Cartel, basically all of the best two year olds of the 2015 season. Starting against older horses in her first race as a three year old isn't entirely desirable but if she has progressed and matured well, she looks very competitive here. #5 IM PRETTY FAMES had a solid 2015 campaign where she showed up in every spot she looked competitive in, and hasn't been too bad so far in 2016. Two starts back she was bumped by Jj Maxwell at the start, showed some speed but flattened out. Last time out, she was bumped once again by Jj Maxwell and just had little to offer. She draws outside and gets an easier group, so if she can turn things around off of that last race she could be tough. #1A IZA JAZZ GAL flipped in the gate on May 15 and had to be scratched, but returned on June 5. She drew the rail, got a late load, was a bit fractious, broke a bit awkwardly but raced gamely along the inside. She makes her second start of the year, draws in the center of the gate and can hopefully stay calm in the gate. This race begins the Daily Double.

Race 2: 6-5-2
Early Pick 3 wagering is offered here. #6 WAVIN drew the rail in her start on May 8, veered in sharply at the start, took a few yards to get corrected and never really got a chance to get rolling as she had to steady past the 110y marker. She has had poor luck and I really don't think she's too bad at all. She had a quick workout on June 1 and draws on the outside part of the track for the first time, which may be beneficial. #5 DASHING OUT OF VEGAS is a full brother to Home to Vegas, a two year old who was an easy winner here last week. The pedigree is respectable, he has two gate works at Hazel Park in okay times, and he doesn't have a lot to beat here. #2 ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOMIN BY didn't really stumble at the break last week but did veer out at the start. She showed some speed but veered around the track very greenly, bumped and brushed in the early yards and was empty late. She can show some early speed which is good but she needs to figure out how to run straight. If she can't, she's going to have a tough time finding the winner's circle.

Race 3: 4-6-1
This race is one of two QROOI Overnight Series races for Ontario Sired maidens. #4 PASSUM LANE showed absolutely nothing in his first few starts but began to put it together late in the 2015 season, wrapping up the meet with two decent fourth place finishes. So far this year he has been better, finishing a good third behind Albertt and No Cerveza for You, one of the tougher maiden groups we've assembled this year, and then getting beat a head by Charted to Win, a second time starter from the Dunlap barn. This doesn't look like the toughest group in the world. #6 IFWISHESWEREFISHES was a qualifier to last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity and has hit the board in three of her five starts. In her lone start this year on May 15, she broke in a bit, was bumped midrace and in my opinion finished pretty gamely between horses. If she gets out well she should be a factor. #1 IM SPEEDY was very much not speedy last week, cocking his head in the gate and breaking very slowly. He was several lengths back, never had any hope and the rider stood up on him midway through the race. He had a couple of okay races last year and might be ignored after his last start. I don't think he's totally incapable.

Race 4: 7-2-4
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #7 ARCTIC FAME broke very well, dueled for the early lead with Caraway Blue but flattened out a bit in the late yards two weeks back. He improved quite a bit in his second start of the year last year and it's not unfathomable he could improve today. The outside draw could help his chances. #2 COLE MINER is a real nice old grinding type. In 42 career starts he has amassed 12 wins and just over $157,000 in earnings. He kicked of 2016 with a win in an optional claimer. He was very game in that race and the biggest threat, Eyesa Zoomn, was not as sharp as he normally is. It's tough to argue that he doesn't fit in well with this group. #4 MS DASHIN CORONA was a narrow second behind a late closing Jj Maxwell on opening day, then came back with another runner up finish behind Caraway Blue. She caught a very tough group two weeks back, facing Panther Hero, Itoldyouilikeroses and Kool Kinda Ivory. Although she was seventh, if you watch the replay she with in with the pack and finishing okay. I don't think that race was as bad as it looks.

Race 5: 5-1-2
This is the second QROOI Overnight Series race for Ontario Sired Maidens. #5 FLICK ME A GUINESS qualified to both the Ontario Sires Stakes and Alex Picov Memorial Futurities last year. He finished a very respectable third behind Panther Hero and Memory of Jay in the Alex Picov Memorial trials. In his lone start this year, a QROOI Overnight for Ontario Sired three year olds he finished fifth. The top two were Alakazaam and Ice Fishn, who both came back to win trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby last week. This is a pretty big drop in class. #1 BRUTUS BE GOOD made his career debut two weeks back. He was fractious behind the gate, broke in and bumped but had good speed and was just outkicked, finishing third by a neck. Now that he has some experience under his belt he has every right to improve, especially if he can manage to break straighter. #2 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU showed some serious kick on debut, breaking in sharply but really running a big effort to be second, but was just even last time out. I don't know why she didn't put in a sharp effort, but I don't think she should be discounted. There's some talent here, hopefully she can show it. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 6: 6-4-1
Late Double wagering is offered here. #6 EYES THAT TELL had a couple of notably good efforts last year; first off, a third in the AQHA Challenge Maiden behind Blazin Ivory and Effortless Game, and then a fourth in the Picov Derby, where the top three were Embrace Extravagence, Fiesty Icon and Toodles Destiny. She didn't break well going 110 yards on June 5 but she has class and should be able to improve. #4 DO U ZOOM was beaten a head by Panther Hero in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. After an unlucky winter season at Hialeah, he returned to Ajax with a game runner up finish at this level two weeks ago. He's not lacking in class or speed. #1 ROCKIN MISS KITTY has raced twice here at Ajax, both times in classes she didn't belong in. First time out she raced in the optional claimer that One Kool Wave romped in. She was bumped at the start in that outing. She returned in a $10,000 starter allowance, took a pretty hard bump at the break and finished okay enough I thought. She's needed this drop to a straight non-winners of two and can hopefully get away cleanly. Entry-mate #1A Magic Of Corona was a good third at this level on opening day but had little luck in a Picov Maturity trial on May 22.

Race 7: 2-3-9
#2 JESS KISS MY DASH is a full brother to the very classy, multiple Stakes winner Jesskissmytexas. He won in his second start after being shut off in his debut, then qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby where he was bumped twice. He wrapped up the year with a runner-up finish behind Stakes winner Eyesa Speedy Simon. He had a quick gate work on June 8. #3 SIX SHOOTIN TEX is a lightly raced six year old. He had been knocking on the door in his well-spread out starts before breaking through with a convincing win in August. He's generally quick leaving the gate. #9 CARAWAYS DASH N FAST is a pretty consistent mare, she certainly isn't one to put in no effort. She kicked off the season with a closing third in a $10,000 claiming event. She ups in class here but makes her second start off of the layoff and gets a few extra yards to work with.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Ajax Downs Selections June 19

Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trials highlight today's eight race card at Ajax Downs. Alakazaam, who has won both of his starts this year, could end up being the star today (although I am trying to beat him.) First post is 12:55 ET, here are my selections.


Race 1: 4-3-5
Welcome to Ajax Downs! We kick off the card with our first two year old race of the year! #3 LUMMIS FIRST is a cold by the legendary First Down Dash, a six time Grade 1 winner who lost only twice in his 15 race career, who finished racing with a win in the 1987 Champion of Champions. The dam, Lummis, was a modest runner who raced 10 times, her only win coming in an All American Futurity trial. His two most recent works have been solid moves. #3 HOME TO VEGAS has been working well preparing for his debut. His pedigree is not as flashy as my top choice's but it is still very respectable. The sire, Down Home Cash was a local star in the early 90's and although his dam, Cash Into Vegas was not a star by any means, her sire, Gold Medal Jess, is a Grade 1 winner who won quite a few Stakes in California. #5 FREY KOOL is the only runner here who has had a start, racing against Indiana-breds at Indiana Grand on June 7. She drew the rail, took a slight bump and showed little. The fact that she has experience could give her an edge and getting off of the rail is good for a juvenile in my opinion. This race offers Daily Double wagering.

Race 2: 5-6-4
This race begins the early Pick 3. #5 DOWN ON CASH made her 2016 debut two weeks ago but showed little. She's far from incapable, however, hitting the board in six of eight tries last year with two wins. She could easily be more live in her second start off of the layoff. #6 FAVORITE LEADER is lightly race but has done fairly well, compiling a record of 7-2-2-1 so far. She makes her first start of the season here, and was a winner in her first try off of the layoff last year as well. If she gets out well I have to think she will put in a game effort. #4 DM AURORA has been doing very well this year, scoring a dead-heat win and a very narrow second place finish. Last year her biggest problem was that she was breaking slow, but it seems like she has figured it all out now. Hopefully she continues to break clean, because she is a mare with plenty of speed.

Race 3: 6-4-2
#6 THATSALOTOFSUGAR won first time off the layoff last year, knocked on the door in a few other starts and was just plain outclassed in most of the races that look bad. She draws outside and shows she can run well fresh so 10-1 seems fair to me. #4 FAST AND RARE LOVE makes his first start since July 2014. He qualified to the 2013 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, so he has some back class. Although his work on May 18 was slow it was very easy, very little was asked of him. We'll see if he is ready to go off of the long break. #2 CATES PURDY BUFFALO was in a tough Speed Index race two back, finishing third behind Kool Kinda Ivory and Dm Paid In Cash. He returned last week in a NW2 and once again caught a fairly tough group, Seis Zoom is lightly raced and has done nothing wrong and Do U Zoom was the runner up in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and was making his first start after spending the winter at Hialeah. This looks like an easier group than he's been catching.

Race 4: 6-5-4
This is the first of three trials to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #6 SPEEDOCRACY qualified to both the Ontario Sires Stakes and Alex Picov Memorial Futurities last year, finishing third in both of them. However, he was plagued with trouble in both finals, it's not unreasonable to say he could have won both of them under different circumstances. I chose him in a QROOI Overnight Series race on May 29 as a possible upsetter to the very tough Alakazaam, but he got fractious in the gate and failed to fire. I'm hoping he can stay settled today because it's tough for me to think the talent he had last year is just gone. #5 PICKIN WILD COTTON is a gelding I was very high on last year. He won his debut with ease, then finished a troubled fourth in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. He made his 2016 debut in a $10,000 claimer and won with a late surge, just getting up by a head. The water gets deeper here but he showed last year that he can make his presence felt in these trial races. #4 STREAKIN JET SPEED debuted in a $7,500 maiden claimer at Remington on May 30, lunging at the start and showing nothing. I don't love her but as a potential price who could maybe improve with experience I will give her a chance to round things out.

Race 5: 8-9-1
This is the second of three trials to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. #8 ICE FISHN doesn't look easy to beat here. She finished second behind Pickin Wild Cotton on debut before coming back to win the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She made her seasonal debut on May 29 with a very game runner up finish behind her ultra-tough stablemate Alakazaam. If she gets out well it's going to be tough to run her down. #9 TETE DE JAUNE is one I saw potential in before his debut last year. He got a poor trip in what has proven to be a good group in his only start last year. Last week he made his return after putting in a bullet work, but got bumped at the start. He finished up well enough despite the poor luck at the start. It will take a lot of improvement to beat Ice Fishn but this is a horse with some upside. #1 HAL BENT won his first start and came back with a close second behind Speedocracy in an Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity trial, but has since been very unlucky. He got back on track a bit last time out, finishing fourth behind Alakazaam and Ice Fishn in the QROOI overnight series race despite a stumble at the start. Ice Fishn aside this is not the toughest group in the world so he has every right to get a piece of it.

Race 6: 2-7-1
This is the third and final trial to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. #2 ALBERTT is on a roll right now, scoring an easy maiden win over well-meant first timer No Cerveza for You and then coming back with an easy score in a Speed Index race. He's got ability, and now we get to see if he's ready to take another step forward. #7 ALAKAZAAM romped in a NW2 to kick off the season then followed that up with a driving win over Ice Fishn in a QROOI overnight series race. He's a really nice horse, and he looks like the best horse in all three of the trials. I've been trying to beat him and I'm not going to stop yet, but he is the most likely winner of this race. #1 HOPE RAMBLES ON exits an easy maiden win. She qualified to last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity where she finished sixth (placed fifth) despite plenty of trouble. I would understand anyone who used her instead of Albertt to try and beat Alakazaam, she definitely has some talent. The late Pick 3 kicks off here.

Race 7: 3-2-6
Late Double wagering is offered here. #3 FLEET SELECT was a clear second best behind a class-dropping Grasshopper Flats last time out. All of his races for a claiming price have been very good efforts and his speed figures are very solid for this group. #2 SNOW STORMING faced some tough company in her two starts last year, Alakazaam, Ice Fishn, Country Boy 123 aren't easy foes. She kicked off the year in a tough race going 110 yards and raced okay, then came back to face maidens. She lugged in towards the rail and was kind of even throughout but steadied very late. I don't think she's too bad of a filly and this isn't a tough group, she just needs to break a bit sharper than she has been. #6 BOLD MOON ARISING had shown nothing in previous starts but raced an okay fourth in the Grasshopper Flats race that Fleet Select finished second in. Maybe he's finally put together what racing is about and will continue to improve, who knows.

Race 8: 6-1A-3
#6 MEMORY OF JAY is probably the best non-two year old maiden we have here right now. He won a trial to the AQHA Challenge Maiden but was disqualified for interference and then finished second in the final behind a very game Country Boy 123. He was a near second behind Panther Hero in an Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trial before finishing fourth in the final. If he can get out well he should be tough; his biggest competition is a horse he's already beaten. #1 VALIANT STOLI TIME had a few good races in Texas last year. He finished second behind Country Boy 123 in the AQHA Challenge Maiden trials before finishing a respectable fourth in the final. Memory of Jay does look tough to beat but it certainly isn't impossible for this horse to turn the tables on him and get the win. #3 SENATOR LOGAN was disappointing in his Ajax debut on May 22. He's gotten a month off now and could improve in his second start over the surface. He did run an okay third in a maiden claimer at Lone Star last year. At 15-1 he shouldn't be totally discounted.
 
Good luck and thank you to everyone playing today!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ajax Downs Selections June 12

Seven races today at Ajax Downs with no Stakes or featured events. We do have some interesting handicapping affairs however, so it's worth taking a look. Here are my selections for today's card.

Race 1: 2-1-4
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #2 MAKE ME A MIRACLE made her first start of the year in the QROOI Mares Open on May 15, where she got bumped back a bit at the start, had to steady slightly late in the race but had a ton of run in the last few yards when it was all too late. She may not be quite as classy as some of the foes she meets here but she's capable and she's no slouch. I don't mind her at all in this spot. #1 MEMORIES TIMES SIX won one of the trials to the Picov Maturity over Sign It Down two back. Although he did not race great in the Maturity final, breaking a bit slowly and failing to rally, Sign It Down complimented his class by finishing a good third. His entry mate, #1A Fly Fast For Kayley is in good form, winning a Speed Index race with ease on May 22 and returning with a close second behind Reckless an Wild, who returns here as well. #4 OURFIRSTORPHAN is a real solid grinder, hitting the top three in 27 of his 46 career starts, banking over $133,000 in the process. He raced on opening weekend, finishing third behind One Kool Wave, and was beaten only a neck by Sm Chicks N Garters in his last start of 2015. There's no shortage of class in this one. This race kicks off the Daily Double.

Race 2: 1-2-4
The early Pick 3 begins here. #1 FIRST ELEMENT is new to Ajax Downs for trainer Jason Pascoe. Ignore the work shown from May 30, 2015, that is a misprint. He last raced at Wyoming Downs in an overnight Stake worth just over $9,000. He showed little according to the chart, I don't have a replay to make a judgement off of. In 2014 he was an impressive winner of a Starter Optional Claimer at Zia Park. If I had to guess I'd say he's a horse who's probably had soundness issues but I recall his breeze on May 30 being respectable and at a price I think he's worth a shot. #2 EYESA ZOOMN is a personal favourite of mine, the absolute picture of consistency. He is a 13 time winner, he's earned over $103,000, and he has a terrific record at today's distance of 330 yards, winning seven of eight starts at the distance with one second behind Mitford. He raced a very good third in a 110 yard race on May 15 and could move forward here. #4 PEGASOS ONE UNDERPAR qualified to the Picov Maturity with a fifth in the much tougher of the two trials, broke great in the final and ended up a solid fifth again. He's just another old, classy money maker, winning 11 of his 34 career starts. It's always tough to discount him.

Race 3: 6-5-1
#6 CARAWAYS DASH N FAST had a very solid season last year, only really putting in one poor effort in seven tries. Even in her start where she got beat for $5,000, she was second behind Itz All Good, who had been sitting on a win all year and was probably one of the tougher horses you could reasonably expect to catch for that claiming price. I find her tough to fault, her form is good, her work on May 25 was solid, she should get a late load. I'm on board. #5 ROLLING RING was third behind Alakazaam on May 15, a horse who well outclassed that field. On May 29 he caught another tough field (Itoldyouilikeroses, Jess Wanna Have Fun & Rich and On Fire were a very good top three) and got bounced around a bit at the start, leaving little in the tank late. He drops back in for the tag and faces Ontario-breds as opposed to open foes here. #1 DREAMS ARISING raced against Pickin Wild Cotton, who I was very high on, for this tag on May 29. She hopped at the start, was bumped and in tight most of the way, never really getting the opportunity to run her race. She's shown that if she gets out well she can run a bit, maybe the rail post will help her avoid trouble.

Race 4: 3-4-8
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #3 DO U ZOOM was beaten only a head in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, showing he had some serious talent. He went down the Hialeah and tried to qualify for the Sunshine State Derby, but was quite fractious in the gate, broke slowly and failed to rally. He came back in an allowance event, didn't break perfect again but showed some late kick to be third. If he can break better here he should be a big factor. #4 A GAME DASHER showed talent in her three starts in Louisiana last year but was ambitiously spotted in her first start at Ajax, racing in the QROOI Mares Open. Despite the tough competition she raced great to be third behind Sign It Down and Im Aquicktrick. She now gets to face non-winners of two and that certainly can't hurt her. #8 RICH AND ON FIRE raced at Ruidoso last year, scoring a maiden win in his third career start but was plagued with trouble in his other outs. In his Ajax debut he was a late closing, dead-heat second behind Itoldyouilikeroses, who's more than respectable. He draws outside and makes his second start over the surface.

Race 5: 3-1-4
#3 CARTELS FAST MONEY is ridiculously fast from the gate when she's focused and has no shortage of class, her lines show plenty of races against some of the toughest horses in the province. Unfortunately, in her first start of the year, the QROOI Mares Open, she lunged at the break, costing her all chance. She came back to work from the gate a few days later and broke great. She's in tough here but it's not unfathomable for her to win, she just has to break. #1 CARAWAY BLUE avoided trouble at the start that hindered most of his rivals and won easily at this level on May 22. He is everything you can ask a horse to be, classy, fast and focused, and those traits have led him to over $175,000 in career earnings. You don't need to be an expert handicapper to determine that this horse has a shot. He always does. #4 ARCTIC FAME was knocking on the door in most of his early starts of 2015 and then finally scored back to back wins to wrap up the season. He's hit the board in 13 of his 21 starts and is a consistently good breaker. His two works getting ready for his season debut have been very quick. The late Pick 3 begins here.

Race 6: 8-4-1
Late Double wagering is offered here. #8 PANTHER HERO is the kind of horse I could end up writing a novel about. He won both the Ajax Juvenile Challenge and the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year before heading down to Lone Star to race in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship. In that race he broke great but came out early and caused some traffic, raced gamely the whole way and finished sixth but was placed last for the interference. That was not just a tough race, but probably the toughest race any horse in this field ever has or ever will face. On top of that, he was named the AQHA Canadian Champion of 2015. He's a great gelding. Unfortunately, I don't think the 8-1 morning line will hold up. #4 MS DASHIN CORONA has finished second in both of her starts this year, a head behind Jj Maxwell and a length behind Caraway Blue. It's tough to fault a horse who runs that well against those tough old starter allowance runners. Catching Panther Hero is a tough break after those first two starts but I don't see why she couldn't run well. #1 KOOL KINDA IVORY was a horse I described as "begging for a clean trip" on May 29 and a clean trip he got, winning that Speed Index race with ease. He certainly has some talent, the biggest concern is whether he can stay calm in the gate from the one hole in a nine horse field. If he can he could get a piece of it.

Race 7: 6-3-8
#6 TETE DE JAUNE is one I was high on before his debut last year. I thought he had been working well but when he made the races he drew the rail, was fractious in the gate and broke a step slowly. He has since been bought by his new connections and has put in two good works in preparation for his three year old debut. #3 PASSUM LANE made his 2016 debut on May 22, finishing third behind Albertt and No Cerveza for You. That was probably the best group of maidens we have had this year, and he certainly put in a good effort, easily his best start to date. One of many with a shot in this group. #8 CHARTED TO WIN debuted in a trial for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity, finishing fourth despite running erratically in the early yards behind Pickin Wild Cotton and Ice Fishn, neither of which are lacking in talent, the latter going on to win the Futurity final. He shows one breeze at Hazel on April 30 and could certainly have matured since last year.
 
Thank you and good luck to everyone joining us today!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Ajax Downs Selections June 5

We have our first Stakes events of the year today at Ajax Downs, the AQHA Challenge Maiden and the Picov Maturity! The Maturity brings together ten of the best older horses in Ontario for a 300 yard showdown. It's sure to be a great day of racing. Here are my program selections.

Race 1: 1A-2-3
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #1A ROUGE RIVER CARTEL had a solid two year old campaign. In his third start he finished third behind Alakazaam and Ice Fishn. Those two foes finished one-two in an Ontario Sired Open for three year olds last week. Neither of them are shameful horses to get beat by. He qualified to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and raced a respectable fourth. Since last fall he was purchased by the Picov Cattle Co. and moved into the barn of Joe Tavares; we will see how he performs for the new connections. Entry-mate #1 Kinda Likea Lovesong also warrants respect here. #2 BA LUCKY PENNY raced nine times last year and hit the board in nine of those tries. She qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, qualifying to the final and racing a solid third behind Feisty Icon, who was named the QROOI 2015 Horse of the Year. She prepped for her season debut with a 220 yard breeze in 12.63 on May 25. #3 CARAWAYS ZOOMTO FAME has raced twice already this season, neither have been great efforts but they haven't been awful either. He took 22 starts to break his maiden but he does like to grab a check and could be a factor if manages to get out alertly. This race begins the Daily Double.

Race 2: 6-1-3
The early Pick 3 kicks off here. #6 ALBERTT debuted last year with a runner up finish behind Kool Kinda Ivory, who was an easy winner in last week's opening race. He did not race again last year, but came back on opening week with an even race. On May 22 he caught a big field of nine including the well-meant first time starter No Cerveza for You, but broke great and proved best. This doesn't appear to be the toughest Speed Index field in the world. #1 IZA JAZZ GAL was my choice in a race a couple weeks ago, but she got fractious in the gate, flipped and had to be scratched. She worked from the gate in 13.52 on May 25. I've thought this filly had some run since her early breezes last year, we'll see if she can keep it together in the gates today. #3 MOMMYSSWEETSECRET finished second by a head behind Perrfect Storm (who is also entered here) on May 15. She throws in plenty of clunkers but she has hit the board in eight of her 15 career starts, and somebody has to round this field out.

Race 3: 1-3-4
#1 GRASSHOPPER FLATS is another horse I picked a few weeks back who had to be scratched at the gate. He has knocked on the door a few times and has raced with some respectable horses, especially when compared to a lot of his competitors here. I really have to think if he keeps calm enough in the gate he will break on top, he'll just have to keep going to the wire after that. #3 BUSTER BRI is the textbook "professional maiden," racing 16 times so far and picking up nine seconds. Despite never winning a race he has earned nearly $30,000. There's not a lot to say about this horse, he almost always runs good. It just comes down to when he will finally grab the maiden win, and how short a price are you willing to accept on him. #4 FLEET SELECT raced in the Purrfect Storm/Mommyssweetsecret Speed Index race on May 15, breaking straight and fast but coming up short late. That race was against winners and he now drops in to face maidens again. We'll see if he's able to sustain his speed better now that he's had a start this season.

Race 4: 2-3-1A
This race race is a 110 yard "Gridiron Gallop" and it also kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #2 IM AQUICKTRICK is probably one of the most underrated horses here. She has qualified to four Stakes events. In last year's Picov Derby she finished fifth in what was unquestionably the toughest three year old put on here last year, and she later finished second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. She made her first start of 2016 in a QROOI Open for mares and she broke perfect, very quick and dead straight, dueled the whole way and was just outkicked by Sign It Down, who's a super honest runner. I think she can break well enough for 110 yards. #3 A PHENOMENAL CHICK tried 110 yards a few weeks back but stumbled, came out and bumped at the start, costing her that early momentum you need to win one of these races. All in all she still race fifth beaten a half a length. I know she is capable of better breaks, it wouldn't surprise me to see her win at all here. #1A RANDOM AUDIT also raced in the 110 yard dash on May 15. She broke very straight but was bumped by her inside rival which caused her to lug out but she still raced great to be second by a head by Lexia, who was completely untroubled that day. Her fifth place finish behind First Down the Track going 110 last year was also a respectable effort. She has a solid chance here.

Race 5: 4-1-8
#4 LA WANDA is a first timer with a bit of pedigree. First off, she's by Fdd Dynasty, a two-time Grade 1 winner who banked over $1 million. Her dam, Turning Tricks, raced only twice, both times at Ruidoso Downs and finishing second in both tries, including an All American Futurity trial. Her second dam, Stardust Dash, qualified to the consolations for the Rainbow and All American Futurities. In the Rainbow Consolation she was beaten by a 1/2 length. She had a good gate work on May 18 and I'm willing to take a shot with her to win at first asking. #1 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU made his debut two weeks back. She drew the outside post, came in and exchanged a couple bumps early in a bit of a crowding incident but got rolling nicely to be second behind Albertt (R2 today.) I like this filly, she seems to have talent and I'm expecting her to be targeted for the Derbies later in the season. She looks like she could be tough again today. #8 LIME KILN LANE is another first time starter by the successful Ontario sire Wild Boyz out of Quick Six Lady, who is by Tres Seis. He has three breezes in preparation for this race, one 220 breeze and a pair of gate works, all of which have been solid moves. He draws near the outside so he will be loaded later than most, a positive spot for a first time starter.

Race 6: 10-5-1
This race is the first of two features on today's card, the $25,296 AQHA Challenge Maiden. #10 VALIANT STOLI TIME showed some kick in a few starts down in Texas as a two year old. In his trial for this race he veered inwards in front of a slow breaking rival and bumped into Country Boy 123, dueled, but came up second best. It wouldn't surprise me is Country Boy 123 is just a better horse, but I'm willing to give this gelding a shot to turn the tables. He could break better from the outside and he makes his second start over the surface. We'll see if he improves any. #5 COUNTRY BOY 123, as previously mentioned, was bumped by Valiant Stoli Time at the start of their trial, but kept a clear path down the inside and proved best. He showed that he might be a horse to watch last year when finishing a close second to Alakazaam. He was very impressive in the trial win and certainly can't be counted out today. #1 MEMORY OF JAY finished a close second to Panther Hero last year before finishing fourth in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. He won the other trial to today's race but was DQd for interference after veering in sharply in the early stages. Regardless, he was impressive and went in a quick time. Hopefully drawing the rail post discourages any inward moves. He is not without a shot here. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 7: 8-3-6
This race begins the Late Double. #8 SHARPE DRESSED MAN reached a bit in class level last week, facing Reckless an Wild and Charted By Dm, both better than the competition he faces today. He broke great, dueled, couldn't keep up with Reckless an Wild and was just outnodded for place and show. He missed show by the dirtiest of noses. He can get out straight and he gets to class drop for his second start off the layoff. What's not to like? #3 CC FIRE N ICE was a dead-heat winner on opening day with Dm Aurora, who also shows up here. He's a decent enough gelding, he won a QROOI Overnight Ontario Sired Maiden last year which picked up a pretty good cheque for a maiden. He's not always on but his best effort could be enough to win this. #6 ITZ ALL GOOD raced in the May 15 110 yard race, bumping into a rival at the start but still finishing a solid fourth. He had two wins last year, both for the $5,000 claiming tag. His breeze on April 27 was a good looking move and he has shown run in a lot of his starts. It never surprises me to see him hit the ticket.

Race 8: 7-4-10
Today's main feature is the $56,800 Picov Maturity! #7 FAST MAN VIC is a horse I talked about extensively on trial day. In summary, he qualified to three Derbied at Indiana Grand, then went to Hialeah where he won three races in a row and finished third in a Stake behind Jessies First Down and Rc Me Leaving You, who are really nice runners. In the trials he could have broke a bit quicker, came in and brushed a foe very early in the running and looked like he kept trying to lug in but eventually got rolling and finished a head behind One Famous Glass and First Down the Track. He makes his second start over the surface, and if he runs straight I expect him to be very tough. #4 FIRST DOWN THE TRACK was very unlucky not to win the trial for this race, she broke great and was just nosed out at the wire by One Famous Glass. I bring this up every time she runs but her record really just speaks for itself. 32-10-12-3 with over $212,000 earnings. Any time she gets out of the gate well, she's going to make her competition work for it. It's as simple as that. #10 ONE FAMOUS GLASS managed to nose out First Down the Track for the win two weeks back. He's another one who's all class, 13 wins in 26 starts, he's raced very well in a Grade 1 in the past. He's looking for Picov Maturity redemption here; last year he won a Picov Maturity trial but was bumped at the start in the final and had to settle for third. He's got as good a shot as anybody coming into today's race.
 
Thank you and good luck to everyone joining us today!