A reigning Champion and a budding star stole the afternoon at Ajax Downs on Monday on the biggest day of racing this season at Canada’s major Quarter Horse track.
Country Boy 123, the 2016 Horse of the Year, flaunted his championship form with a brilliant win in the $41,400 All Canadian Classic, defeating a stellar group of older horses. The big dark bay gelding, ridden by Innisfil’s Cory Spataro for owner Ruth Barbour, raced to a one-length victory in the 350-yard stakes for his 10th career win.
The victory was a revenge of sorts for Country Boy 123, who had his first loss this season when surprised by former Horse of the year One Famous Glass in the Bank of America Challenge on Sept. 3.
One Famous Glass rallied for second on Monday and both horses are trained by Bryn Robertson.
Meanwhile, Robertson and his wife Carol and daughter-in-law Jaime may own perhaps the most talented 2-year-old Quarter Horse in the land in Had to Be Ivory, winner of one of the day’s three Trial events for the upcoming Alex Picov Memorial Futurity.
Had to Be Ivory, an Ontario-bred, won his 400-yard Trial for the Oct. 9 Futurity final in a scintillating time of 19.940, just missing the 11-year-old track record by .50 of a second. The tall gelding’s speed index of 101 is a mark unheard of for a 2-year-old in Canada.
Wagering on a huge 11-race card at Ajax on Monday topped $135,000, a record for the season.
Watch for both Had to Be Ivory and Country Boy 123 in the season’s marquee races, the $75,000 Alex Picov Futurity and Picov Memorial, both to be held on Oct. 9.
For more information, check out www.ajaxdowns.com