Had to Be Ivory is the real deal; Country Boy 123 keeps his crown
AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 9, 2017 – A new champion was crowned and a reigning champion kept his title on an incredible day of Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs on holiday Monday, October 9.
HAD TO BE IVORY, one of the most exciting young horses to be seen at Ajax in almost a decade, kept his unbeaten record unblemished with a three-quarter length score in the $119,750 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, the richest race for Quarter Horses in Canada.
The giant 2-year-old, owned and bred by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Carol’s husband Bryn, got in gear late in the 400-yard dash to win over the speedy filly A J Chick in 15 over a track listed as ‘heavy’. The Ontario bred posted an impressive 101-speed index for his time of 19.940.
Ridden by Tony ‘TP’ Phillips, Had to Be Ivory will now enjoy a winter rest at the Robertson’s HiIlerin Farm in Hillsburgh, ON before preparing for his 3-year-old season.
Earlier, COUNTRY BOY 123, last year’s Horse of the Year, overcame a slow start, some early bumping and stuck his neck out to win the $92,676 Alex Picov Memorial Championship, solidifying his position as the top older horse. The 4-year-old gelding, owned by Ruth Barbour and also trained by Bryn Robertson, was ridden to the nail-biting win by Cory Spataro of Innisfil, ON.
Country Boy 123 defeated longshot Albertt while stablemate One Famous Glass, who surprised the champ in the Bank of American Challenge, did not handle the greasy track and finished sixth. Country Boy 123’s winning time for 440-yards was a sharp:21.710 for a 102-speed index.
Country Boy 123 will have one more race in 2017 as he will start in the $75,000 (US) Indiana Championship at Indiana Downs on October 21.
The afternoon at Ajax Downs also featured a very popular pumpkin giveaway in which more than 100 pumpkins flew off the shelves and were decorated by kids in attendance at the track. Wagering on the 10-race card bettered the same Holiday Monday card from 2016 by almost 10 percent.
Three Mondays remain on the Ajax Downs calendar for 2017 so come on out and enjoy fantastic racing and the Farmer’s Market Oct.16, 23 and 30, with post time at 12:55 p.m.
The photo below of HAD TO BE IVORY, the superstar 2-year-old, by New Image Media.