Race 1: 1-2-5
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #1 TRES FORTUNE debuted at Remington as a two year old with a second place finish behind As and Js, who later won the Black Gold 350 Futurity at Will Rogers and has earned nearly $250,000US. In his lone Ajax start last fall he finished third behind Home to Vegas and Zoxtobeyou (placed 2nd.) He faces maidens this time around and should be tough. #2 FAST STREAKIN NICK raced in Louisiana as a two year old and had a pair of third place finishes suggesting some ability. He has run speed figures that make him competitive here. #5 EC FIRE FLY raced three times in Louisiana last year, failing to hit the board. However, in one start she was beaten less than a length by the winner despite finishing sixth. She had a good workout from the gate on May 3. The Daily Double starts here.
Race 2: 1-2-6
This race begins the early Pick 3. #1 SAMMIES ROCKET runs the best speed figures in this field on a consistent basis. His best races last year were his earlier ones, most notably his July 3rd and 21st starts. If he breaks alertly he is the one to beat. #2 ARISING MIRACLE was a non-factor in a NW2 allowance two weeks back. Last year he was a qualifier to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity and did break his maiden against a weak bunch in September. He will need to show some improvement today. #6 CR PARTY WITH CORONA broke her maiden in a easy group in August but was not a huge threat in her two final starts of the campaign. She returns fresh with an easy breeze on April 26 in preparation.
Race 3: 6-2-5
#6 A GAME DASHER showed very good form in Louisiana as a two year old including an easy maiden win at the Fair Grounds. She came to Ajax as a three year old and finished a very good third in a QROOI Overnight series race for mares behind Sign It Down and Im Aquicktrick, but then failed to show much in a NW2 before being put away for the season. #2 HOME ICE won on debut before finishing a narrow second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity. He also qualified to the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity where he finished fifth. He had a fast gate work on April 24 in preparation. #5 UNOMASSENORSEABOLT had a close second for $6,250 at Remington two back. He broke poorly in his Ajax debut three weeks back and finished last but may show more with a clean start.
Race 4: 4-6-5
This race is the start of the $.20 Pick 4, as well as the middle Pick 3. #4 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER finished a good second behind Selective Memory and in front of The Fdd Map in an optional claimer two weeks back. He had a great 2016 and looks to be in for a good 2017 as well. #6 ARCTIC FAME was no worse than fourth in eight starts last year, then kicked off this year with an easy win in a four horse field on opening day. He is a very consistent type with over $100,000 in earnings. #5 MS DASHIN CORONA broke outwards and ended up finishing third, narrowly missing second behind Arctic Fame on opening day. She was in the top three in six of nine tries last year and looks like she can get a cheque here.
Race 5: 5-8-7
#5 GRABIN COURAGE finished third in his lone start behind Hickerson and Check the Winner. Hickerson went on to finish second in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurit and Check the Winner later won a maiden race. He flashed talent there and may be tough in this group. #8 BAC IN FIRST will remove blinkers for her start with new connections. She did not show a ton in her first two starts but finished third behind The Flash Drive and Make Me Bodacious on October 10. We'll see how she comes back as a three year old. #7 AGUSTOARNOT finished fourth despite a less than perfect start two weeks back. Although not a consistent type he has run some decent races and may be a factor today.
Race 6: 4-2-8
#4 KONA CORONA, a half brother to A Plain Brown Rapper, was my choice in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year, but he broke outwards bumped into Home to Vegas, didn't threaten and was disqualified. I'm still of the belief that he is quite talented. Hopefully he will break well today. #2 ITTAKESTWOTOOTANGO had a win and three seconds in his first four starts last year but had a rough trip and finished last in his final start on October 17. I was quite high on him last year and still think he's got ability. I wouldn't write him off here. #8 ROUGE RIVER CARTEL was lightly raced last year but did have a decent fifth (DQd to last) in a race won by Country Boy 123 and a third behind Do U Zoom and Rich and On Fire. He finished third in his first start of the year three weeks back looks competitive today.
Race 7: 5-1-6
#5 IFWISHESWEREFISHES broke her maiden over Two Kool to Wave three starts back, finished fourth in a respectable group topped by Memory of Jay then scored another win on closing day. She really seemed to wake up late last year and hopefully will keep the ball rolling. #1 SWINGING BEAR made his Ajax debut in a 110 yard dash two weeks back and proved victorious over Chuggington and Rpainted Pistol. Although 110 yards isn't the same as a more conventional distance, it still shows that he has some go and could score again today. #6 MIROMAR was a maiden winner at Remington last year but failed to show much in the rest of his U.S. starts. He turned things around in his Ajax debut three weeks back, winning over Zoxtobeyou, Rouge River Cartel and a handful of other U.S. imports. We'll see what he does second time out. The late Pick 3 begins here.
Race 8: 3-9-7
This race kicks off the Late Double. #3 NO CERVEZA FOR YOU raced in the QROOI Overnight series race for mares two weeks back, finishing fourth of five behind Cartels Fast Money, Ice Fishn and Angelles Baby Tnt. She puts in more good races than bad and gets in easier today. #9 COLE MINER is the one to beat here. He finished fourth in a tough optional claimer topped by Selective Memory, Channelislandsflyer and The Fdd Map two weeks back. This is an easier spot and he still seems game as a 10 year old. #7 JIMMY BOYZ CARTEL scored a NW2 win two weeks ago. He is not always a perfect breaker but when he does get out well he usually puts in a good effort and could round things out today.
Race 9: 8-1-6
#8 RPAINTED PISTOL won both of his local starts last year but was a non-factor in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos. He made his 2017 debut going 110 yards and finished third by a head. This race probably suits him better than the 110 yard dash and he isn't lacking on talent. #1 DENALI TELLER OFF wrapped up last season with a win in the richest race of the Ajax season, the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. She is three for six in her career but took advantage of the bad luck of others in the Alex Picov Memorial and has been beaten twice by her stablemate, Rpainted Pistol. However, she certainly looms dangerous here. #6 COUNTRYS COMIN BAC won in his first start of 2016. He later qualified to the Picov Derby where he finished second behind Country Boy 123 before winning a 110 yard race. He could be overlooked behind some of the bigger names in this field but certainly has talent.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!