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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Ajax Downs Selections July 3

Although I'm hard at work (lol) at Woodbine today for the Queen's Plate, there is still a card of Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs which means I'll be paying attention to that. Today's card is highlighted by the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, where Alakazaam will try to extend his winning streak to five, while trying to earn his first Stakes win. It should be a terrific card. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 3-5-2
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #3 DM PAID IN CASH exits a second place finish behind Kool Kinda Ivory, who came back to finish third behind 2015 AQHA Canadian Champion Panther Hero by 3/4 of a length. Although her three for 33 career record wouldn't suggest it I think she's a pretty nice mare who is long overdue for a win. #5 YAWL KEEP TEXTING has finished third in all three of her starts this year. In her most recent two races she has caught Alakazaam, the favourite in today's Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, who is on an absolute roll. This isn't the easiest Speed Index group to catch but she shouldn't find herself unable to compete either. #2 RECKLESS AN WILD was a narrow winner in his first start of the year, a conditioned allowance event for Ontario Sired runners, but came up a bit even last time out. This two-time Stakes winner may not be as sharp as he once was but he's still capable at this level and can't be disregarded. Daily Double wagering is offered here.

Race 2: 3-6-4
The early Pick 3 begins here. #3 MEMORY OF JAY is the class of this field by leaps and bounds. He was beaten a neck by Panther Hero before qualifying to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity where he was fourth by a length. So far this year he has crossed the wire first in two of his three tries with a second in the AQHA Challenge Maiden behind Country Boy 123. In terms of speed figures he looks like much the fastest horse here. #6 DM KING CITY was an easy winner over some solid rivals on May 8 in a race where he was one of the few horses to break cleanly, came back a bit evenly and then returned with a decent third place effort on June 5. Although Memory of Jay looks tough, the rest of this field does not look super threatening. #4 FAST AND RARE LOVE made his first start in nearly two years two weeks back with an okay third place finish for $7,000 claiming. He was a qualifier to the 2013 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity so there is some back class and he can improve in his second start off of the layoff.

Race 3: 7-1-2
#7 KOOL KINDA IVORY won a Speed Index race with authority on May 29, then returned to finish third behind Panther Hero and Itoldyouilikeroses on June 12 when breaking from the rail post. He should have qualified to last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity but had a poor trip in his trial which hindered his time. If he gets out well I expect him to be tough to run down. #1 DM AURORA is a consistent strong finisher who's been in great form this year. She won in a dead heat on on May 8 and has finished second by narrow margins in her two most recent starts. I think 350 yards is a good distance for her. #2 SHARPE DRESSED MAN was fourth, a 1/2 length beaten by Reckless an Wild on May 29 before finishing third, a head behind Dm Aurora who finished second on June 5. He's hit the board in half of his 10 career starts.

Race 4: 2-3-6
This race begins the $.20 Pick 4! #2 DONTELLMEMYBUSINESS was a decent fourth on May 15, then came back to finish fourth again in the Panther Hero-Itoldyouilikeroses-Kool Kinda Ivory race, showing good speed in that race. He has done well dropping into the Speed Index ranks before. #3 DEAL A FORTUNE had a very nice 2015 campaign, winning a pair of allowance races, finishing third behind Seize the Win in the Adequan Ajax Derby Challenge, qualifying to the Picov Derby after finishing second behind Embrace Extravagence in the trials, and being beaten a neck by First Down the Track in a 110 yard dash. First time out this year, in another 110 yard race, he stumbled badly at the start. He came back in a Picov Maturity trial, was fractious in the gate, took a minor bump early but was very even throughout. His best race is much better than what he showed last time out, we just have to wait and see if he shows up today. #6 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER was even in his first two starts of the season but found some kick to finish second behind the always tough Caraway Blue on June 12. He doesn't win too often but he likes to be close and picks up plenty of cheques. The drop in class helps his chances as well.

Race 5: 8-6-3
#8 FAST BUCK had a couple of respectable races down south as a two year old. In his Ajax debut he finished third behind Memory of Jay before being placed second as Memory of Jay was disqualified. In the AQHA Challenge Maiden, he broke inwards, exchanged a few early bumps and showed a bit of late kick to be fifth. Hopefully he will get a clean trip this time out. #6 BUBBLES CARTEL GAL qualified to the Sunshine State Derby for accredited Florida-breds at Hialeah Park over the winter. Although the top two finishers, Ahs Uncle Si and Shes A Tourist are solid horses, the rest of the field was pretty average for a Stakes race, and she finished sixth, close for fourth. In her first start here at Ajax she was third, 3/4 of a length behind Country Boy 123, but she had a perfectly clear path and the two foes in front of her both bumped at the start. In the Challenge Maiden final, again, she had a perfectly clean trip but she just never fired. Maybe the extra bit of distance will help her. #3 PYC TRICKIE LADY was a very narrow second in her first start here at Ajax. She put in a very flat effort in the Challenge Maiden trials but managed to qualify in spite of the poor run. She exchanged bumps with Fast Buck and never fired in the final. If she can run back to the start on May 8 she could end up surprising here. Late Pick 3 wagering begins here.

Race 6: 1-4-5
The Late Double is offered here. #1 CHARTED TO WIN had one start last year, racing erratically to be fourth behind Pickin Wild Cotton and Ice Fishn. He made his first start of 2016 a winning one on June 12, then returned with a non threatening fifth in an Ontario Sires Stakes Derby trial. He drops into the Speed Index ranks where he should be competitive, and he could offer a good price. #4 DREAMS ARISING finished sixth two back, but was less than a length off of the winner, Pickin Wild Cotton. She came back to win by a neck for $10,000 claiming. She isn't particularly consistent but her good races are competitive with this group. #5 EVERYTHINGPERRYSWEET kicked off the year with a third place finish in a fairly weak Speed Index race, came back to be fourth, 3/4 of a length behind Dreams Airising, then was a non-threatening fourth in a five horse field behind Jess Kiss My Dash last week. She doesn't look too bad considering the 10-1 morning line.

Race 7: 8-7-10
Today's feature is the $73,950 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby! #8 SPEEDOCRACY finished third in both of the 2015 Futurities with troubled trips, and may have been able to win both of them if he had gotten clean runs. In his first start of 2016 he was fractious in the gate and just ran evenly, but he kept it together for his trial and won easily. A win like that may have been a confidence booster for him; his only other win was by a neck and he had trouble in almost every other start. #7 ALAKAZAAM is a perfect three for three this year. He just managed to outnod Hope Rambles On in the trials, and in the start before that just edged out Ice Fishn late. He's as game as they come right now, and another win here shouldn't surprise anyone. #10 ICE FISHN won last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She was a close second behind Alakazaam in her first start of 2016. In her trial she was bumped at the start and had to make up some late ground but didn't have too much of a problem doing so. She's yet to finish worse than second and she certainly looks competitive here.
 
Thank you and good luck to everyone joining us today!

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