Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ajax Downs Selections July 31

Last week we had a pair of trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity, highlighted by an impressive win by Home to Vegas to set the fastest qualifying time. Today we switch our focus to the three year olds, with a pair of trials to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. We also have a QROOI Overnight Sprint Series race going 220 yards, featuring stablemates One Kool Wave and First Down the Track. It's sure to be a fun day of racing. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-2-3
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 DENALI TELLER OFF has made two starts and has shown some run against very respectable foes. She finished third on debut behind Home to Vegas and Zoxtobeyou, who both came back to win last week, the former being the fastest qualifier to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. She then finished third in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge despite troubled trip along the inside. If she gets out clean she won't be easy to run down. #2 ONE SPECIAL DOMINO is by multiple Grade 1 placed sire Dominyun, who finished third in the 2010 All American Futurity. Her dam, Shenandoah Special finished no worse than fourth in her five start career here at Ajax, finishing third in a Futurity. She has had some solid workouts in preparation for her debut. #3 CLASSIC COURAGE is a Texas-bred out of a mare named Motorin, who won a Grade 3 Futurity at Turf Paradise and also finished second in a Grade 3 Derby at Yavapai Downs. That Derby at Yavapai also featured a horse named Rockish, who was later brought up here to Ajax and won many races, including a three Stakes races. His sire, Captain Courage, finished third in the 2007 All American Futurity and also qualified to the next year's All American Derby. Her workouts have been okay but it will be interesting to see if she has any of the class her pedigree suggests she could possess. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 3-6-2
This race is the first of two trials to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #3 PANTHER HERO kicked off the season with an allowance score in a respectable group of horses. After winning a pair of Stakes races here last year, he went on to race respectably in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship and Lone Star, and I'm assuming the Adequan Challenge Championship is a goal for him this year. He's always a contender. #6 ALAKAZAAM is on an absolute roll, undefeated in four starts this year and exiting a win in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby. He was an easy winner before being DQd in his lone start at the 400 yard distance and he seems to like to roll down the outside. He's proven to be quite good at winning. #2 COUNTRY BOY 123 gave Alakazaam a run for his money at the end of the 2015 season and has gone three for three this year, including a win in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. This is his toughest assignment so far this year but his speed figures are competitive with his main competitors. Early Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 3: 6-4-3
This race is the second and final trial to the Adequan Regional Derby Challenge. #6 BUBBLES CARTEL GAL qualified to the Sunshine State Derby at this distance in Florida and raced better than the sixth beaten 3 3/4 lengths looks on paper. Her races her have been alright but I have a feeling more distance will benefit her. #4 ITOLDYOUILIKEROSES was an impressive winner three back, returned with a second place finish behind Panther Hero, but lost all chance at the start last time out. She's a hard trying type with a consistent record of solid races. #3 DO U ZOOM was beaten a head in last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. After two runner up finishes behind Seis Zoom, who returns here and Eyes That Tell, who came back to win a 110 yard race with a 107 speed index, he took an easy win on July 21 over Rich and On Fire and Rouge River Cartel, both horses I think are alright. He's hit the board in seven of his nine career starts, eight if not for a disqualification.

Race 4: 6-7-1
This race kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #6 JIMMY BOYZ CARTEL was a winner in his first start of the year then had two very good efforts in races won by Albertt and Eyes That Tell. Last time out he drew the rail post in a competitive group of horses primarily made up of recent US imports and reared at the start. He gets an easier group here and hopefully will break well. #7 CARAWAYS DASH N FAST finished a 1/2 length in front of Jimmy Boyz Cartel last time out but had a much better start. I was a fan of her throughout her 2015 campaign and I still think she's an alright runner. She fits in this group. #3 FAMES WINNER had a pair of seconds and a fourth behind No Cerveza For You to start off the year. He then ended up catching a soft group after scratches and won easily on July 10. He will likely end up with a clear path along the inside.

Race 5: 3-4-6
#3 EYESA SPEEDY SIMON has qualified to both the Picov Maturity and the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity this year. Although he was a non-factor in the OSS Maturity final, he did run a good second behind eventual Maturity winner Fiesty Icon. The last time this faced a straight conditioned group, a NW2 on October 12, he was a winner over Jess Kiss My Dash. He should be tough dropping into NW3 today. #4 CHARTED TO WIN exits a second place finish behind No Cerveza For You. Although he is still eligible for NW2, he is lightly raced and catches a lot of rivals who have had many chances. As a 10-1 shot, he is worth a look. #6 WILD BOYZ VICTORY was very game in defeat last time out, stumbling at the start, rallying but just being outkicked late to be third by a neck. She was a winner two back and has been no worse than fourth this year. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 6: 5-8-3
Today's feature is a QROOI Overnight Sprint Series going 220 yards. It is also the start of the Late Double. #5 FIRST DOWN THE TRACK has been terrific this year, winning the Picov Maturity and the first leg of the QROOI Overnight Distance Series. Although she has never raced going 220 yards before, she is a terrific breaker and has a win going 110 yards to back up her early speed credentials. She's a money maker. #8 EYESA ZOOMN has hit the board 26 times in his 35 start career. He has been a very tough Starter Allowance horse for a while, but if you look back to July 5 2015 he ran a good second behind Mitford, beating Mr Victory Six. He's a solid breaker, 1-for-1 at 220 yards and several good 110 yard races, and he has quite a bit of class. #3 ONE KOOL WAVE looked like a lock in the 110 yard Sprint Series race on Canada Day and had the early lead but was run down by entry-mate Sign It Down who got up in spite of an early stumble. That raised some concerns for me as he figured to win easily. Can he win today? Absolutely, he's a class machine with a spectacular record. Would I want to bet him at a short price? No, not particularly. You be the judge on what value on him is.

Race 7: 5-2-4
#5 LOLAMO was flat in his first start of the year but has put in two fairly respectable efforts behind Caraway Blue since then. He takes the drop into the Speed Index race and seems like a contender. #2 ITSALLABOUTRAMBLIN was even in his first two starts of the season but rebounded with a second place finish behind the game Soxy N I Know It on July 10. He had a similar progression last year, non threatening in his first race but following that up with a pair of wins. He wouldn't surprise me at all here. #4 IM PRETTY FAMES finished narrowly in front of Lolamo on May 22, had a troubled trip on June 12 then rebounded with a third place finish behind Soxy N I Know It on June 26. She has two wins at this distance and had a respectable looking breeze on July 27. She is capable of a winning effort.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

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