Race 1: 4-2-3
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #4 FIRST ELEMENT caught a tough field on June 12 when making his first start in almost a year. Although he finished last, I didn't think he ran too badly. He stretched out to 400 yards and has had success at 440 and 550 yards in the States. Hopefully he improves in his second start off of the layoff. #2 MEMORIES TIMES SIX won a trial to the Picov Maturity four back but did not fare well in the final. He has been a close third in both of his two most recent tries, last time in a 110 yard race behind Sign it Down and One Kool Wave. Three of his six wins have come at 400 yards. #3 OURFIRSTORPHAN has raced very well in both of his starts this year, most recently finishing a close second behind Fly Fast For Kayley. He ended the 2015 season with a close second behind Stakes winner Sm Chicks N Garters. He's been on the board in 28 of 47 career starts. The Daily Double begins here.
Race 2: 7-3-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #7 HELLFIRE N BRIMSTONE makes his career debut here and hasn't caught the toughest field in the world. He has two works from the gate prepping for this debut and I've thought he's looked good both times. The outside draw should be good for this first timer. #3 HAMMER TYME debuted in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trials and finished fifth in a race won by Ice Fishn. That was not a bad race at all, he earned a 48 speed figure, and he now has the benefit of experience. He looks like the one to beat. #6 MISS SIXARUN LADY raced twice last year and was not bad both times, debuting with a runner up finish. She did not have anything to offer in her first start of 2016 but that was a tougher field. She can get a piece of it here.
Race 3: 4-7-5
#4 CRUWYSN THE ARCTIC had a troubled trip in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity trials and returned in an Ontario Sired open last week where he finished fourth by less than a length. He is more than competent and gets an easier field today. #7 MARTHAS JESS GOLD made her 2016 debut in the allowance race topped by Panther Hero, Itoldyouilikeroses and Kool Kinda Ivory where she raced okay to be sixth. She isn't super consistent but she did get two wins last year (three if not for a disqualification) and doesn't get such a stacked field here. #5 STORYTIME BLUE snapped a cold streak two weeks back with an authoritative score over Deal a Fortune. I'm not sure if she can duplicate that effort but if she can, watch out. If not, she can still be competitive.
Race 4: 3-6-4
This race begins the $.20 Pick 4! #3 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU scored her maiden win in a QROOI Overnight Series Maiden on June 26 in her third career start. In her first start she was a good second behind Albertt, who has won three races this year. She's a nice filly who seems to have a good future. #6 EYE SAID IM NED made his first start of the year in a NW2 since the date and didn't show too much. He now drops in to a straight NW2 which should help. He had some decent efforts last year, including a third place finish by only a neck on August 2. He might go a bit overlooked here. #4 GRASSHOPPER FLATS had some issues in the gate earlier in the season but dropped in for $7,000 claiming, stayed calm and took an easy win on June 5. That was not a great field but he won exactly how he should have. He deserves a look in this spot.
Race 5: 2-3-5
#2 FAVORITE LEADER kicked off the season with a close third on June 19. She returned on Canada Day and once again finishing third, this time behind the ultra-sharp Country Boy 123. She does not catch the toughest of competition here. #3 THATSALOTOFSUGAR raced okay to be fourth in a $7,000 claimer on June 19, then returned in an Ontario Sired Allowance on July 3 and finished third. She can be competitive here. #5 IZA JAZZ GAL broke her maiden for this claiming tag at the end of the 2015 season. So far this year she has raced twice, both at the Speed Index levels and both times failing to be a serious threat. Although she has been loaded late, she does have issues keeping calm in the gate which is probably her biggest hindrance. I think she fits here if she runs here race. The late Pick 3 starts here.
Race 6: 3-10-8
This race is a QROOI Overnight Series Maiden, as well as the start of the Late Double. #3 VALIANT STOLI TIME finished second behind Country Boy 123 in the AQHA Challenge Maiden trials before finishing fourth in the final. He came back to finish third behind Challenge Maiden runner-up Memory of Jay, just missing second by a head. To me it's just a matter of time before this gelding gets the breakthrough win. #10 EYESA WILD BOY finished second behind No Cerveza For You in the QROOI Overnight Series Ontario Sired Maiden last time out. He has been on the board in six times in his eight starts, including five second place finishes. He's well bred and game, it wouldn't surprise me to see him finally get the job done. #8 PYC TRICKIE LADY kicked off the season with a narrow second place finish but was very even in the AQHA Challenge Maiden trials and final. She rebounded a bit on July 3, breaking well and just getting outkicked. She can leave fast, and I think the cutback to 300 yards is in her favour.
Race 7: 7-3-5
Today's feature is the $56,750 Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity. #7 JESSKISSMYTEXAS is the king of the Ontario Sired division right now. He should have won last year's OSS Maturity but broke poorly and could not get up. He wrapped up 2015 with a close third in the Alex Picov Memorial Championship behind US invaders Jettastic and Mesa Marvel. He returned on Canada Day and scored an easy win in his trial. If he gets out well, he won't be easy to beat. #3 EMBRACE EXTRAVAGENCE was an okay third behind Jesskissmytexas and Im Aquicktrick in the trials after a disappointing fifth in the Picov Maturity trials on May 22. The 2015 Picov Derby winner has yet to return to her three year old form but she seems to be moving in the right direction. If she can find her best effort she could give the favourite a run for his money. #5 FIESTY ICON finished second behind Embrace Extravagence in the Picov Derby last year before going on to win the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. He was an easy trial winner last time out after a better than it looks sixth in the very tough Picov Maturity. He's earned over $100,000 and has won half of his 14 starts. It's tough not to respect him.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!