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!