Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ajax Downs Selections May 14

Onto the second week of live Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs. After one card we have a tie in the jockey's standings with Brian Bell and Cassandra Jeschke both winning two, and Scott Reid leading the trainer standings with a pair of wins. New trainer Carol McIntyre won with her first starter, Hammer Tyme, and the team of Jason Pascoe and Ramiro Sanchez Castillo, who were red-hot in 2016, scored a win with Miromar. Today's card is highlighted by a $20,000 QROOI Overnight Series race for mares going 250 yards. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 3-4-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #3 RICH AND ON FIRE had a good 2016, with six top three finishes in 10 starts. Two of his poorer starts came against very tough company, including a sixth out of seven in the Alex Picov Memorial Championship. He is respectable and would be a serious overlay at 10-1. #4 SIX SHOOTIN TEX his the top three in each of his five starts last year. He finished third behind Rich and On Fire on September 12. Although lightly races he is clearly well managed, finishing in the top three in nine of his eleven career starts. It is tough to fault that kind of consistency. #1 PURRFECT STORM is only for two for 28 in his career but has some respectable lines in his form, with good races against horses like No Cerveza For You, Albertt and Soxy N I Know It. He had a very easy breeze on May 3. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 6-4-3
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #6 YAWLPLAYINGWITHFIRE qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity with a third in the trials behind Home to Vegas, then finished eighth in the final with a troubled trip. He then finished sixth in a tough maiden race topped by Kona Corona and The Flash Drive and wrapped up the season with a third place finish behind eventual Alex Picov Memorial Futurity winner Denali Teller Off. He is the class of the race and looks tough. #4 SCOUTING FOR ME raced last week, finishing a close third behind Ghost Pines. That race would have been far less close if not for Ghost Pines' troubled trip and probably looks a bit better on paper than it truly was. He has put in some solid efforts in spite of his 0 for 13 record and should probably be able to put in a breakthrough effort at some point. #3 MISS HER MADLY put in a second place finish behind The Dominyunator in her second start but then finished fifth in a weaker group when breaking out of the rail post. This is her first time racing against Ontario-bred company, which could be beneficial.

Race 3: 6-5-7
#6 ROCKIN MISS KITTY was new to Ajax last year and took a couple starts to get going, but showed she was game, winning four out of six races between July 10 and October 24. She was only a 1/4 length behind The Fdd Map in the Bank of America Challenge Championship, and he will likely be overbet while this filly could be a decent price. #5 COLE MINER is a 10 year old who showed no signs of slowing down last year, winning four of eight starts with his worst finish being a close fourth in a 110 yard race. He was third behind First Down the Track in his final start of 2016. He is a very solid old horse who always warrants consideration. #7 THE FDD MAP is the one to beat there; the 8 year old has been a local favourite for several years now, with 11 wins and over $200,000 in earnings. He was winless in five starts last year although they all came in tough races and none could truly be called poor efforts. It all comes down to what kind of price you are willing to take as he will take quite a bit of parimutuel support.

Race 4: 4-5-2
This race is our 110 yard Gridiron Gallop! It also kicks off the $.20 Pick 4! #4 RPAINTED PISTOL was a winner on debut at Remington Park before coming to Ajax to claim the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and a QROOI Overnight series race. He was shipped out to California for the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship where he was outrun after a less than ideal start and returns now for his three year old debut. The choice to run 110 yards is interesting but sensible when you consider he has no allowance conditions left and is likely targeting the upcoming Derbies. Although I doubt he will be 15-1 at post time, he's an interesting proposition if he isn't overbet. #5 SUGARMANS DELIGHT had a very good 2016 season. He was beaten only a nose by Alakazaam in the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby, won an allowance over Reckless an Wild, finished second behind Country Boy 123 in the Picov Derby trials before finishing fourth in the very tough final. He crossed the wire first in his final start of the season but was disqualified for interference after veering in badly at the start. He was much the best that day. Like my top pick he is new to 110 yards but I don't doubt his gate speed if he gets out straight. #2 SWINGIN BEAR is new to Ajax Downs after racing in Louisiana as a juvenile. His form at the end of the season at Evangeline was very respectable, with a third place finish in a race that produced a next out winner, a good fourth in an LQHBA Futurity trial, and then a win in a $10,000 maiden claimer. He's facing some tough older horses here but could be worth a look.

Race 5: 4-2-6
#4 THE FLASH DRIVE was in the top three in three of his four starts last year. The other race was when Zoxtobeyou veered in suddenly in front of him and wiped out almost the entire field, including The Flash Drive. His first two races were solid efforts against horses like Denali Teller Off, One Special Domino and Kona Corona, and he wrapped the season up with an easy win over Make Me Bodacious. He has potential to move forward. #2 MAKE ME BODACIOUS improved with experience as a two year old, culminating in a win on closing day. She raced last week in the same class and was a very good second despite an awkward break. If she is fine off of a seven day turnaround she should be competitive. #6 EYESA WILD BOY has one of the ultimate cases of seconditis, with nine runner up finishes in 14 career starts. He did break his maiden last year, ironically in one of the better fields he competed in, besting Ittakestwototango and Ifwisheswerefishes, who both came back to win their next starts. He likes to be close and should fit in with this bunch. Late Pick 3 wagering is offered here.

Race 6: 5-3-1
This race is the start of the Late Double. #5 FISCAL FAST made her 2017 debut last week in a tough Speed Index race topped by Albertt and Valiant Stoli Time. She drew the rail post that day and didn't get a great start. She showed ability in Alberta before coming here and I still think that she'll be competitive here when she finds the right field. #3 FLY FAST FOR KAYLEE had seven top three finishes in 10 starts last year, including his first start of the season. His final race was a third place finish behind Angelles Baby Tnt and Deal a Fortune, respectable horses, where he stumbled at the start. He's a consistent sort who shouldn't be totally written out. #1 LUMMIS FIRST was disappointing in his first two starts (although they produced several good runners) but picked things up with a good third behind One Special Domino and Ghost Pines before breaking his maiden in an easier spot. He qualified to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity where he finished seventh. He's well bred and may improve from two to three years old.

Race 7: 7-3-4
Today's feature is a QROOI Overnight Series race for fillies and mares going 250 yards. #7 RUNAWAY CAUSE has a lot of ability. Her first start of 2016 was a second place finish behind the terrific One Kool Wave at today's distance. She was a winner over Speedocracy and also put up very game runner up finishes behind Fast Man Vic and Alakazaam. She has worked twice from the gate this spring and wouldn't surprise me at all if she gets away from the gate well. #3 ANGELLES BABY TNT made it clear she had talent as a two year old in Alberta, winning half of her eight starts that year. As a three year old she made two starts out west in races won by Toughie and Cruisinforabruisin, probably the two toughest horses in Alberta, before coming to Ajax where she went two-for-two. She has a lot of ability and seems to like the Ajax surface. #4 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU had a good debut where she finished second behind Albertt, then when on to win three races. She finished third behind Valiant Stoli Time and Panther Hero in the Picov Derby trials, put up a big number finishing sixth in spite of a bad start in an allowance on September 26, then was empty in her final start. This seems like a good place to start the season.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

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