Sunday, 4 June 2017

Ajax Downs Selections June 4

Back in action today at Ajax Downs. A cancellation two weeks back delayed this, but we finally get to run our first trials of the season, two for the AQHA Maiden Challenge and two for the Picov Maturity. It is sure to be a great card. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-3-6
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 GHOST PINES overcame a troubled start and surged through a tight spot to win on opening day. Her lone start last year was a very good second behind One Special Domino. She was quite impressive in winning last time and looks tough today. #3 PERFECT TO LOOK AT faced good fields in each of his four starts last year, then dropped into Ontario Sired company for his 2017 debut and was an easy winner. He faces a much tougher group here compared to who he won against. #6 EYESA WILD BOY was a non factor in his 2017 debut, but his 2016 debut was not very hot either and he quickly found his form. He is very consistent at grabbing cheques with 11 top three finishes in 15 career starts. The Daily Double and a Pick 3 start here.

Race 2: 2-4-1
This is the first of two trials to the AQHA Challenge Maiden. #2 CORONAS CHROME was beaten a neck on debut at Remington. In his third start he was fourth in a Speedhorse Futurity trial behind a horse named Dreamers Liaison, who later won a trial to the Miss Roxie Little Futurity at Indiana and was fourth by half a length in that final. He has had two local gate works in preparation for these trials. #4 ONE DASHIN ROSE barely broke and was outrun in her final start at Will Rogers. She had decent form prior at Remington and Indiana, including a field-best 66 speed figure on September 13. She looks competitive, assuming she breaks with the field. #1 TWO KOOL TO WAVE was an impressive fourth after a bad break in his debut, then continued to run well despite not being able to get the win. I do expect him to win something this year, and if the US invaders prove to be overrated in this field he could be very dangerous.

Race 3: 1-2-4
This is the second of two trials to the AQHA Challenge Maiden, as well as the start of the $.20 early Pick 4! #1 FEARLESSLEE debuted with a fourth place finish in the Ruidoso Futurity trials. The winner of that trial, Apolltical Chad, went on to win the Ruidoso Futurity before finishing fourth in the All American Futurity. That trial also contained Sam Houston Futurity winner Just Call Me Carter and eventual stakes-winner Whata Corona, who is five for 10 in his career. His most recent start was a close third for a claiming price at Los Alamitos. He is the class of the race. #2 MARYLAND MAGIC has scored four top-three finishes in seven starts so far in his career. So far in 2017 he has two thirds in three tries at Sunland and Remington, including a run in the slop which should be noted in case of poor weather conditions. He seems like an honest type. #4 FLIRT WITH THE BOYZ put in some good efforts against solid horses as a two year old. She raced on opening day, finishing a very good second behind Ghost Pines, a filly who looks to have a very bright future. Although she catches some tough looking invaders here, she has at least proven she can compete with the high-end locals.

Race 4: 2-1-4
This race begins a Pick 3. #2 LUMMIS FIRST qualified to last year's Alex Picov Memorial Futurity where he finished seventh. He made his three year old debut in a Speed Index race where he finished a neck behind Fly Fast For Kaylee, a consistent old veteran runner. He could move forward second time off the layoff. #1 ROUGE RIVER CARTEL finished third on opening day behind Miromar and Zoxtobeyou, both of which have come back to win their next starts. He returned last week with a very good second behind Kona Corona. He consistently puts in solid efforts. #4 ZING DYNASTY was fourth, just behind Rouge River Cartel on opening day. She broke on top but evened out late. She had the rail post and was making her first start over the track; perhaps she may be better without these circumstances in play today.

Race 5: 5-4-3
This is the first of two trials to the Picov Maturity. #5 FIESTY ICON did not look to be a serious factor in the top older horse division in his first starts last year, but quickly got back on track with wins in the trials and final of the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity. He then came back to open company for a third place finish in the All Canadian Classic, then a very narrow runner up finish in the Alex Picov Memorial Championship. If he is ready off the bench he is a player here. #4 ONE FAMOUS GLASS has been a winner in these trials two years in a row. It's obvious why one would pick him: he practically always runs well. He's a 14 time winner with nearly a quarter-million in the bank. He won the Alex Picov Memorial Championship last year and always runs well off of the layoff. #3 ONE KOOL WAVE made his return to the races with a light campaign of four starts last year, with two wins, a second and a third. He wrapped things up with a win in the QROOI Sprint series final, and was beaten a neck by his powerful stablemate First Down the Track in a previous QROOI Sprint Series race. He is a very capable veteran. A Pick 3 starts here.

Race 6: 1-3-7
This is the second of two trials to the Picov Maturity, as well as the start of the $.20 late Pick 4!. #1 COUNTRY BOY 123 tasted defeat only once in seven local starts last year, scoring two Derby wins along the way. They took their berth to the Adequan Derby Challenge Championship at Los Al and finished a very credible fourth in the $200,000 final behind Jess Good Reason, who went on to win the G1 Charger Bar Handicap and Toughie, a three time Stakes winner in Alberta who qualified to the Ed Burke Million Futurity as a juvenile. With a clean break, it's tough to anticipate a poor run from this gelding. #3 ALAKAZAAM is hardly a slouch either. He scored six wins in eight starts last year, one of the losses being the start where he dropped his rider at the start. He did outrun Country Boy 123 once last year and finished narrowly behind him in the Derby Challenge despite not breaking perfectly. He's a perfectly capable horse. #7 RUNAWAY CAUSE is not a model of consistency but does throw in some very good runs on occasion. In her 2016 debut she was second behind One Kool Wave. She also ran credibly behind Alakazaam and Fast Man Vic last year. She has a lot of run in her, it's just a case of whether or not she'll show it.

Race 7: 1-5-2
#1 FLASHY LIFESTYLE makes her career debut here. She is by very talented runner and successful New Mexico sire First Moonflash out of a Mr Jess Perry mare. She failed to make the races while training in New Mexico last year, but has improved with a series of gate workouts here. We'll see how she goes at first asking. #5 MISS DOCK HILL was beaten a nose in her final start of 2016, a maiden claimer at Will Rogers. She had a solid juvenile season which included a third in a Heritage Place Futurity trial and warrants consideration here. #2 EH LEADEROFTHEBEACH finished fourth in her lone start at the Oneida County Fairgrounds in Idaho. The winner of that race, Duck Dash N Go ended up winning the Futurity at Oneida and was second in a Stakes race at Los Alamitos. We will see how the Idaho form translates at Ajax. The final Pick 3 on the card starts here.

Race 8: 4-5-8
This race kicks off the Late Double. #4 SELECTIVE MEMORY rode the rail to a win in a tough optional claimer over Channelislandsflyer and The Fdd Map last time out. He finds himself eligible for this Speed Index race and gets in easier than he did last time. #5 SIX SHOOTIN TEX is the model of consistency despite how lightly raced he is, 10 top three finishes in 12 starts. He scored his third career win three weeks back and certainly looks like he can pick up a piece of it today. #8 CRUWSYN THE ARCTIC was run down narrowly by Hope Rambles On two weeks back in a short field. Although 2016 was not a great season for him, the fields he faced last year were all topped by very good horses that would be tough to beat if they were facing this group. Don't write him off.

Race 9: 2-7-8
#2 LATER TATER qualified to the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity where he finished third by a head behind Home to Vegas and Home Ice. He then raced in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity trials but lost all hope of getting into the final as he along with several others were wiped out by Zoxtobeyou. He has worked well this spring and should be tough. #7 BEWITCHIN was not a factor in her lone start last year. She worked from the gate in 14.01 which does not set the track on fire, but the track was fairly slow that day and probably would have posted a quicker number on a normal day. She may be better as a three year old. #8 SCOUTING FOR ME was third by a neck behind Ghost Pines on opening day before getting beat a nose a week later. He has 8 top three finishes in 14 starts and looks better than several of his competitors.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!

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