Monday, 9 October 2017

Ajax Downs Selections Thanksgiving Monday

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ajax Downs! We have a fantastic card for the holiday, topped by the Alex Picov Memorial Championship for older horses going the classic 440 yards and the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity for the two year olds going 400 yards. The weather hasn't been perfect and the track will be muddy, but there should be some great races throughout the day. Here are my selections.

Race 1: 5-6-2
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ajax Downs! #5 JESS TUFF has hit the board in two of his five starts and qualified to the OSS Futurity. He drops back from open to Ontario Sired company today. #6 I THINK ICON finished second by a head in her second start in an un-noteworthy group then came back with an okay fourth place finish. If she breaks well she can be in the mix. #2 BELLDACIOUS debuted two weeks ago and was a little worked up in the paddock. She had the rail post that day and didn't run too bad. We may see some improvement. The Daily Double starts here.

Race 2: 1-3-5
This race starts the early Pick 3. #1 TELLER LAJOLLA has shown some run in each of her three starts in better fields than this. If she gets out well she looks like a big threat in this group. #3 MISS COOKIES showed some run in her first two starts in Arizona but quickly fell off form. Unfortunately in her Ajax debut she broke poorly and showed no real signs of improvement. There may be a big turn around in store if she can just get a clean run. #5 WINNERS PROSPECT is still a maiden after 25 starts but has run some okay races and takes the drop in for $5,000 today. He could get a piece of it in this short field.

Race 3: 1-2-4
#1 IM SPEEDY was beaten a nose by Eyesa Speedy Simon two back. Last time out he finished very gamely between horses to be third behind Ice Fishn & Home to Vegas in a QROOI Overnight Series race. It's very tough to knock that form. #2 ONE DASHIN ROSE exits a NW2 win over next-out winner A Splash of Royalty. Although a NW3 would be more ideal, she doesn't look totally outclassed here and is worth some consideration. #4 FASTER THAN U exits a good fourth place finish in a tough optional claimer topped by Itsallaboutramblin and Valiant Stoli Time. This group may be a bit easier and he is a capable horse when he's at his best.

Race 4: 2-3-4
This race is the 110 yard Gridiron Gallop, as well as the start of the $.20 Pick 4! #2 ONE KOOL WAVE was beaten a neck in his first start of the year at this distance in the first leg of the QROOI Sprint Series, then came back to win the final two legs. There is no denying that he is a monster and he's got a solid record at 110 yards to back it up. #3 CARTELS FAST MONEY is a mare with a big kick from the gate and has run several good races because of it. Her 110 yard record is solid, and earlier this year she was right there with the two ML favourites at the distance. Don't count her out. #4 ARCTIC FAME kicked off the year with four wins including the QROOI Sprint Series 110 yard race, but hasn't had the kick to beat One Kool Wave in the last two. He's a sharp gelding who seems to have gotten a bit better with age.

Race 5: 6-4-5
#6 PASSUM LANE has unfortunately had two consecutive gate malfunctions occur in his most recent races, leaving him declared a non starter both times. He can be a handy horse at these lower Speed Index levels and it wouldn't surprise me if he's sharp at a good price. #4 TETE DE JAUNE dropped into this Speed Index class two starts back and has won both of his attempts, albeit narrowly. He's found his level and he should continue to be competitive. #5 SAMMIES ROCKET has been right there behind Tete De Jaune in those two most recent starts. He's similar to Passum Lane in that he's a bit win shy but puts in plenty of respectable efforts.

Race 6: 4-5-7
#4 FAMOUS MISCHIEF had a soft field for his Ajax debut and ran an okay second. He's lightly raced and while I don't think this group is as easy, I still don't see any world beaters for his second start over the surface. #5 TRES SEIS DELIGHT showed some promise as a two year old in Indiana but hasn't panned out this year. Most recently at Belterra he broke out, bumped a foe and was a non-threat. We'll see how he fits here. #7 CAPTAIN CAROLINA followed good form to a win on September 11 but was disqualified for interference. He's been in pretty solid form and has already proven he can beat other maidens.

Race 7: 7-6-5
The first of today's Stakes features is the $86,800 Alex Picov Memorial Championship! #7 FIESTY ICON scored back to back optional claiming wins then finished fourth in the All Canadian Classic after a bit of a stumble at the start. His one try at 440 last year was a big effort. If things go his way today he could pull off the upset. #6 ONE FAMOUS GLASS looks to defend his title in this race. He loves 440 yards, with five wins in nine starts. Two starts back he managed to beat Country Boy 123 at the distance. He's a serious horse. #5 COUNTRY BOY 123, the likely heavy favourite, has had a tremendous season, four wins including two Stakes and a QROOI Distance series race, with one close second behind One Famous Glass. His wins have been dominant and against the best horses around. Selling this horse short would just be wrong. As I always do, I'm trying to beat him at a short price, but he is a fantastic racehorse who deserves plenty of recognition for his accomplishments.

Race 8: 2-6-5
#2 SPEEDOCRACY had a good three year old season but has had some troubles at the break this year and it has caused him to be winless. However, last time he got out fine and was just beaten a nose by Sugarman's Delight. I think this is an easier spot, hopefully he leaves fast. #6 PERFECT TO LOOK AT was beaten a nose last out in a 90 and under Speed Index race by Ms Dashin Corona, who has since won again. His record is very solid, in 10 starts he has never been worse than fourth and the 90 Speed Index races are usually quite solid events. #5 EYESA WILD BOY scored his NW3 two back then came back to run a good fifth in a tough optional claiming race. He gets in a bit easier now and can grab a piece of it. The late Pick 3 starts here.

Race 9: 5-8-2
Today's second Stakes feature is the $112,850 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity! #5 EXPRESS YOUR DESIRE was an impressive debut winner, went on the shelf, returned for new connections and won his trial despite lugging inwards a bit. He seems like a runner to me. #8 HAD TO BE IVORY, undefeated in four starts, really made a big statement when he won his trial easily with a 101 speed index, a number not seen by many two year olds here at Ajax. He already has a Stakes win to his name and is the one to beat here. #2 ISLAND VODKA qualified to the John Deere Juvenile Challenge earlier this year but was not a threat in the final. She returned with an easy maiden with then scored a win in the trials for today's event. She seems like she's moving in the right direction. The Late Double starts here.

Race 10: 3-8-1
#3 MRS FIRST LADY won the AQHA Challenge Maiden earlier in the season. Two back she was beaten a head by Miromar and Ls Prince in the Adequan Derby Challenge trials before finishing fifth in the final. She takes a big class drop today and should be tough. #8 GRABIN AWARDS is only one for 19 in his career but is in pretty good form and has been picking up the minor shares. If he's a good price I would take a look at him. #1 FURR SHEAR was beaten a neck by A Splash of Royalty last time out after being beaten a head when racing out of condition against NW3. He is lightly raced and still has time to improve.

Good luck and thank you to everyone joining us today!