Race 1: 5-4-1
Welcome to Ajax Downs! #5 SHAKE SOME SUGAR was in a bit tight and was herded by another foe before being eased up on Canada Day. He returns quickly so I'm not worried about that effort and he raced huge to nearly beat No Cerveza For You on May 28th. #4 FLY FAST FOR KAYLEE was a winner on May 14 and finished a very credible fourth on June 11. He should always be considered a serious factor when he's in the Speed Index ranks. #1 WINNER ON A LARK was fractious in the gate and raced a bit greenly last time out. Also hurting her was a track that looked to be sloppiest on the inside, where she raced from that day. She's a capable mare who hasn't gotten much her way this year. The Daily Double starts here.
Race 2: 1-5-4
This race kicks off the early Pick 3. #1 FIRST ELEMENT exits a fifth place finish in a QROOI Distance Series race behind some very tough horses. He gets in easier here and probably needed the two starts he's made this year. #5 CHANNELISLANDSFLYER has been second or third in each of his four starts this year. He has been beaten by a couple of today's foes in these starts but could turn the tables on them. #4 LOOKIN TO BE ICONIC beat a decent field in a Speed Index race on June 4, then finished second behind the red-hot Arctic Fame last time out. If she gets out well she should be a factor.
Race 3: 1-4-6
This is a QROOI Overnight Series race for maidens. #1 FEARLESSLEE qualified to the AQHA Challenge Maiden but finished sixth. He has not broken sharply in his two starts at Ajax but has put in some big efforts in the States and should be tough if he breaks well. #4 ONE KOOL KORONA has shown significant improvement in her workouts this year from last year and makes her debut here. She is by multiple Grade 1 winning sire Carters Cartel and out of multiple Stakes winning dam One Kool Bud, who has produced champion One Kool Wave and Stakes winner Bye Me One Kool Bud. This may be a nice one. #6 STOLE MY VINO exits a third place finish behind a pair of Joe Tavares' Louisiana imports. I think she's an improved filly as a three year old but this looks like a tough spot.
Race 4: 5-2-9
This is a QROOI Overnight Series race for maidens, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #5 ICONIC SHIFT showed improvement as he gained experience last year. He has been working well this year prepping for his return to the races including a bullet work on July 5. He's a longshot to consider. #2 NORSE BAY took a left-hand turn at the start and kept going that direction, finishing second behind well-meant first timer Yournotthebossofme before being DQd. She has put in some good efforts and will hopefully keep a straight path this time. #9 BOLINGA debuted on June 25 with a close fourth place finish. She could improve with experience and has a bit of pedigree to her.
Race 5: 8-3-9
#8 MS FIRST PRIZE PEARL drew outside in her Ajax debut and took a sharp right hand turn at the start, costing her early ground. She finished up pretty well and could improve in her second start over the surface. Starting between horses should help her break straight. #3 MARYLAND MAGIC won his trial for the AQHA Challenge Maiden before finishing a good second in the final. It's tough to argue with his form since coming to Ajax. #9 HELLO STOLI drew outside and prevailed for the win last time out. He draws outside again and could repeat. The late Pick 3 begins here.
Race 6: 9-2-4
This race is the $62,950 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby! #9 GHOST PINES was a very impressive winner on opening day, but broke poorly and didn't seem to like the sloppy track when finishing second on June 4. I think she's a pretty nice filly, you just have to hope she breaks well. #2 HOME TO VEGAS was undefeated until he lost the rider after taking a bump at the start in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, but rebounded with an allowance win. He makes his first start of the year here and should be considered the one to beat. #4 LATER TATER was a close second last time out but was DQd for lugging out and bothering a foe. He was a close third behind Home to Vegas in last year's OSS Futurity. Late Double wagering is offered here.
Race 7: 8-3-6
Today's finale is the $59,740 Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity! #8 ALAKAZAAM was bounced in the early yards of his Picov Maturity trials and didn't recover, then dropped the rider at the start in his second start of the season. He finally got out clean in the trials for this race and was a very good second. If he's at his best he can win this race. #3 ALBERTT has gone from looking like a nice Speed Index horse to being the fastest qualifier for today's event. He beat Alakazaam in the trials and if he gets out good he could very well do it again. He's a real nice gelding who tries every time and wants to win. A serious candidate. #6 ICE FISHN took a bit of a stumble at the start but still finished up well and was third behind Albertt and Alakazaam in the trials. She won the OSS Futurity as a two year old and is worth some consideration in this spot.
Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!