Race 1: 5-3-4
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 FAMES WINNER has shown nothing in three starts this year, all at much higher class levels where he was clearly outmatched. Last year when going through his allowance conditions he had a great season and this is a very sensible drop in class. #3 PURRFECT STORM was beaten a length 10 days ago in a Speed Index race topped by Rockin Miss Kitty. He was beaten a half length for second and should be competitive in this group. #4 IAMASWEETMAN broke inwards and bumped a foe in a NW2 allowance race last time out, finishing seventh of eight. That was a good bunch for that class level. He is a very win shy type but can grab a piece of it. The Daily Double starts here.
Race 2: 5-8-6
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #5 CARNEROS was beaten a neck in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge. A rider error may have cost him the win, as Rene Gutierrez stopped riding in the late yards, but I think he was caught just as he stopped and would have just ended up second by a head instead of a neck. Regardless, he can leave the gates very well and gets a drop in class here. #8 FAST PRIZE GAL was a well beaten third in her debut. She had the rail post that day but was not loaded early as per usual. Today she draws outside and may improve with experience. #6 PEEPL R KRAZI is a daughter of Ivory James. She has shown improvement in her workouts this year.
Race 3: 2-5-6
#2 HOME ICE lugged inwards early and ended up finishing a good fourth in the OSS Derby last time out. As a two year old he was second in the OSS Futurity and fifth in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity. If he gets away well he will be the one to beat. #5 KINDA LIKEA LOVESONG was a good third behind Rockin Miss Kitty and Upper Canada last time out in a Speed Index race. Although Rockin Miss Kitty is a respectable foe and this mare has been running well. she's a bit of a chronic losing type, with a one for 16 record in her career. #6 CHECK THE WINNER has been catching solid groups and has not been breaking well this year. Each one of his starts this year shows trouble at the start. With a clean break from the outside he could be competitive.
Race 4: 3-6-1
This race is the start of the $.20 Early Pick 4! #3 ROCKIN MISS KITTY took a couple starts to get going but managed to win last time out. She had a similar cycle last year, two starts that were okay but then a wake up in the third out that led to a very solid season. I think she can be competitive with this group. #6 LOOKIN TO BE ICONIC was third behind First Element last time out, losing place in the final jumps to Channelislandsflyer. Two back she was second behind Arctic Fame, beating Channelislandsflyer. A win candidate. #1 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER has been second or third in each of his five starts this year. It's pretty tough not to like him, he runs hard and grabs plenty of cheques along the way,
Race 5: 4-5-7
This is the first of two trials for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #4 HICKERSON was put in a very tough spot, the first QROOI Distance Series race for his first start of the year and finished sixth. He's a big, leggy horse who I think definitely appreciates 400 yards as he showed last year, and should improve as he grows into himself. #5 DENALI TELLER OFF bested Hickerson in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year. She won her 2017 debut in an optional claimer over Countrys Comin Bac and Speedocracy, a solid group. She should be favoured. #7 MRS FIRST LADY was an upset winner in the AQHA Challenge Maiden two back. Last time out she broke out and took a good bump, raced on the inside and was a fairly game fourth. She seems to like it here.
Race 6: 6-3-2
This is the second trial for the Adequan Ajax Downs Derby Challenge. #6 PEVES FREDDY B has two runs in Oklahoma this year, most recently winning at today's distance in a $20,000 claiming race. He was Stakes placed last year and the owner has brought him up here for these trials. #3 KONA CORONA has a win and a close second in two starts this year. He seems like he has potential to be a classy type and is one to consider. #2 MARYLAND MAGIC won his trial before finishing second in the AQHA Challenge Maiden. He then finished second behind Ms First Prize Pearl, a runner who I think has a lot of potential to do well here. He has two runs at 400 yards and they were both solid efforts down south. The late Pick 3 begins here.
Race 7: 6-9-10
This race is part of the QROOI Sprint Series going 220 yards. #6 EYESA ZOOMN was fourth by half a length in the first leg of this series at 110 yards. Last year is the 220 leg he was beaten a head by First Down the Track, who had a monstrous season. He goes for his second off the layoff and may be a bit overlooked. #9 ARCTIC FAME has turned into a killer this year, winning each of his four starts so far this season. He won the 110 yard dash two back then came right back a week later for a starter allowance score. We'll see if he can make it five straight. #10 ONE KOOL WAVE was second by a neck going 110 yards behind Arctic Fame in his first start of the year. He is a nine year old veteran who still runs very well in spite of his age The $.20 Late Pick 4 kicks off here!
Race 8: 4-1-6
This race is part of the QROOI Distance Series going 400 yards. #4 FAST MAN VIC is my flyer to try and beat Country Boy 123 because I don't want to take the 1-5 he'll probably be. I know this horse is probably best at 400-440 yards and I think he's better this season than last after having the winter off. If he breaks perfect he may get lucky. #1 COUNTRY BOY 123 is the obvious horse to beat. He broke the 300 yard track record in the Picov Maturity, he's the co-track record holder at 400 yards, and he's just been playing with his competition here. You don't need me to tell you he's the most likely winner. #6 SHOOTIN SIXES has been a good distance horse in Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada in recent years. He made his first local start ten days ago, cutting back to 350 yards and running a pretty good fourth despite hopping at the start. This spot is obviously very tough but this is a horse to watch for when he finds an easier race at 440.
Race 9: 4-2-7
#4 BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT has raced three times and is yet to beat a horse. He added blinkers last time out which I think should help, but that was the OSS Derby and he drew the rail. Today he gets a reasonable group of maidens and may run better. #2 EYESA DEXTER was third (placed second) behind the very impressive Yournotthebossofme two starts back but was a disappointment last time out, finishing fourth of five as the 4-5 favourite. He should be able to get a share here. #7 ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOMIN BY had two decent second place finishes but didn't break well and finished ninth last time out in the Yournotthebossofme race. Much as she's improved this year, after the last race it's tough to be sold on her as the favourite from the betting standpoint but she should be competitive. The Late Double starts here.
Race 10: 8-6-4
#8 ICONIC SHIFT broke out and bumped a foe at the start, managed to make the lead but was caught late to lose by a neck in his first run of 2017. He could be tough with a better break in his second start of the year. #6 WAGER ON ME finished a close second behind well meant first time starter One Kool Korona last time out. So far at Ajax she has a second and three thirds in four starts. #4 FAST STREAKIN NICK had three runner up finishes to kick off his Ajax campaign. Last time out he had to settle for third behind Gogo Jangles, who returned to win again last week. He should be a factor.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!