Author Archive for Monique Mcnamara

Fitting End to 2023 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse season / Season Wrap

Sugarmans Delight Wins For His Sire ‘Perry’
A joyous team from the Joe and Christine Tavares barn surrounds Sugarmans Delight, who won the last race of the 2023 Ajax Downs season on Oct. 25. (Clive Cohen/New Image Media)

AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 31, 2023 –  It was fitting that the final race of the 2023 Quarter Horse season at Ajax Downs was won by the remarkable old-timer SUGARMANS DELIGHT, who was taking his 17th career win at the spry age of 10. Sugarmans Delight is a son of one of Canada’s most influential Quarter Horse stallions, SUGARMAN PERRY, who was recently retired from stud duty by Joe and Christine Tavares of Enniskillen, ON.

Sugarmans Delight’s win on October 25 was his third of the year for the Tavares family and boosted his career earnings to over $210,000 (US). The tall, sorrel-coloured gelding with a crooked white blaze was a stakes winner in 2022 at the age of nine, epitomizing the longevity of sons and daughters of Sugarman Perry.

“He’s been a godsend to us,’ said Joe Tavares. “We stood him at stud his entire career.” Through the last day of this year’s Ajax Downs season, offspring of Sugarman Perry have earned over $2.58 million.

Tavares purchased Sugarman Perry, a son of the top American stallion Mr. Jess Perry, for $70,000 through a friend from breeder Bob Gaston in Texas. Sugarman Perry, a foal of 2002 won four races for Tavares at Picov Downs before he entered stud. From his first small crop in 2008 came stakes winner Sugarnspicenotsonice and stakes placed Sugar Boy Barry.

Fiesty Icon, bred by Picov Cattle Company and raced by Rick Kennedy, came along in 2012 and was a two-time Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs and earner of over nearly $400,000 while racing until the age of nine. There have been plenty of other top stakes winners in recent years for Sugarman Perry including All Outta Sugar, Hanover Hill Theresa, Night Fishn, and one of 2023’s top 2-year-old, Sugar N Pride, winner of the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity.

“His offspring are intelligent, which makes them great,” said Tavares.

Sugarman Perry – photo by Dave Landry

*The 3-year-old division at Ajax Downs in 2023 was flush with top performers and may well produce the Horse of the Year for the season. Ontario breds SNOW MOOSE and SOUR CANDY each won five races (Snow Moose won two other races including the Alex Picov Championship but was disqualified from both) with Snow Moose garnering an impressive 45 QROOI points, just one point more than his rival.

You have to go back to 2018 to find a horse who earned more QROOI points in a season when Country Boy 123 picked up 47 points.

Snow Moose is owned and bred by Milena Kwiecien of Burlington, and Sour Candy, the Picov Derby winner, is owned by Craig Spada and Rick Crispi. On the filly side, both Kwiecien’s VALIANT CHICK INSNOW, who dead-heated for the win in the Alex Picov Championship, and Carol and Jaime Robertson’s HAD TO BE IVY, the Princess Derby winner, each earned 33 points.

Snow Moose, a candidate for 2023 Horse of the Year  – New Image Media/Clive Cohen

*One of the biggest stories of the 2023 season was that of young trainer LAUREN SPADA, 20, perhaps the youngest racehorse trainer in Canada. Spada, whose late grandfather Peter was a successful owner, took over the training of the stable of horses from her father Craig and in her first full year won 20 races from 59 starts, a remarkable 34 percent. Lauren’s 20 wins put her third behind leading trainer Jason Pascoe (37) and runner-up Bob Broadstock (23).

*The 2024 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse season is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 7. Keep up-to-date on Ajax Downs simulcast room events and schedules at or on social media, @ajaxdowns.

Thoroughbreds vs Quarter Horses and Alex Picov Futurity Highlight Closing Day!

Come out to Ajax Downs’ closing day, Oct. 25, to see Quarter Horses take on Thoroughbreds; plus the rich Alex Picov Memorial Futurity
The fast grey 2-year-old Eye Tempt You is one of the favourites for the $76,680 Alex Picov Futurity on October 25. Clive Cohen/New Image Media photo
AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 24, 2023 – The 2023 Ajax Downs’ Quarter Horse season is going out with a bang on Wednesday, October 25 with a huge 11-race card that includes the $76,680 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, the richest race for 2-year-olds in the country and the first-ever BATTLE OF THE BREEDS race at the track, pitting Quarter Horses against Thoroughbreds.
First race post time on Wednesday, the 25th and final day of what has been a very successful meeting, is 12:45 p.m. and the early forecast calls for a warm day at 19 degrees Celcius and overcast.
A field of 10 juveniles will race 400-yards in the 23rd running of the Futurity including Trial winners EYE TEMPT YOU owned and trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, ON and HAWKIN THE STRAW, an Ontario bred for Erik and Joyce Lehtinen, also trained by Pascoe.
Eye Tempt You won his Trial on Oct. 4 in slightly faster time, 20.48, than Hawkin the Straw and won by an impressive 2 1/4 lengths despite racing greenly through the stretch.  The grey gelding was 6 to 1 in that victory, upsetting heavily favoured Sugar N Pride, who finished fourth. The North Dakota bred will be ridden once again by Diego Benitez and they start from post 7.
Hawkin the Straw, post 10, and Ajax Downs’  leading rider Brian Bell won their Trial by 1 1/4 lengths in 20.55, defeating the filly Fiesty Feebee and stakes winner General Skywalker.
The Alex Picov Memorial Futurity is race 8 on Wednesday.
*Race 2, with a post time of 1:12 p.m. is the first-ever Battle of the Breeds at Ajax Downs, an 870-yard race (about four furlongs) around a turn matching two Quarter Horses against three Thoroughbreds.
“We had a few of these races about 10 years ago at Fort Erie racetrack,” said Ajax Downs’ General Manager Emilio Trotta. “We wanted to try and bring it back this year and hope to have one or two a month next year.”
Owner and trainer Ted Holder, whose Thoroughbred colt Kaukokaipuu raced in the King’s Plate at Woodbine this year and was second in the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, has entered MIAH SAID in the Battle of the Breeds.
“He’s very quick,” said Holder. “We’ll give it a shot. I”m happy to give Ajax Downs a little push for this race, it’s exciting.”
Thoroughbred trainers Roy Agostino and Joe Humber have entered Devil in Her Heart and Red Maple respectively. Ajax Downs’ leading owner Milena Kwiecien has entered her stakes star MARYLAND MAGIC, a winner of a 770-yard, ‘hook’ race last fall. Magen Finnessey’s AZURES ROYALTY, whose dam Royal Gate is a Thoroughbred, completes the field.
*The title for champion jockey at Ajax Downs will go down to the wire on closing day. BRIAN BELL leads by wins, 25, and QROOI points, 242. Hot on his heels is Ramiro Castillo with 22 wins and 235 points and JB Botello with 20 wins and 234 points.
*Admission and parking are always free at Ajax Downs which also has an expansive simulcast room for watching and wagering on tracks from around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on social media, @AjaxDowns.

Press Release – Board of Directors Election – AGM Meeting

On October 13th, 2023 nominations closed for the current President, Vice President and Director positions on the QROOI Board. Bob Broadstock and Chantelle Bourgeois agreed to stand for re-election and as no other nominations were received. We would like to congratulate them both on another 3 year term.  Director Ralph Pearson has chosen not to run. We thank Ralph for all his years of dedicated and passionate service on the Board. Corey Illman was nominated to run for Director. With no other nominations received, The QROOI would like to congratulate and welcome Corey for a three year term on the Board.

Our AGM will be held on Saturday October 28th at 1pm to discuss other business in the Lower Level Meeting at Ajax Downs.

Here is a list of your current Board of Directors and their terms;

President – Bob Broadstock – 3 years

Vice President – Chantelle Bourgeois – 3 years

Director – Corey Illman – 3 years

Director – Sean Slater – 1 year

Director – Brooke Sisson – 1 year

Director – Amanda McCormack – 2 years

Director – Scott Reid – 2 years

Lunch and refreshments will be provided after the meeting….

Dreams Coms True for Angelle Carter

Dreams Come True;  Adreamtobuildakisson Wins OSS Derby for Angelle Carter
Adreamtobuildakisson is up in time to win the $61.020 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby on October 18 for owner, trainer, and breeder Angelle Carter and jockey Ismael Mosquiera – New Image Media-Clive Cohen Photos
AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 18, 2020 – Angelle Carter’s homebred gelding ADREAMTOBUILDAKISSON overcame an awkward start from the gate to win the 12th running of the $61,020 Ontario Sired Stakes Derby at Ajax Downs on October 18. Ridden by Ismael Mosquiera, Adreamtobuildakisson spotted race favorite Firstprise Charlotte almost a length at the start of the 350-yard dash for Ontario-sired 3-yearolds but dug in through the late stages to edge past the filly to win by a neck.
Firstprize Charlotte, owned by Craig Spada and Rick Crispi, finished second by half a length over A Shades of Cold, winner of one of two Trials for the OSS Derby, who is owned and was bred by Amelie Aubut. The running time of 17.763 was good for a 97 speed index, a career best for Adreamtobuildakisson.
“He broke a little low [to the ground],” said Mosquiera, who had ridden Adreamtobuildakisson to victory in one of two Trials for the OSS Derby. “In the second or third stride though, he showed the speed he has been showing the last two times he has raced.”
Mosquiera rode Adreamtobuildakisson for the first time when the son of the late stallion Dashair won an allowance race in August. A victory in one of the Trials followed.
“We flew in just this morning from Vancouver to watch the race,” said Carter’s sister Kelly Banah, who attended the races with Shanti Banah. “We’re sad that Mom was not well enough to come out to watch. She did it Mom, she did it!”
A son of Carter’s mare Tres Seis Smooches, Adreamtobuildakisson has won 4 of 13 race and earned over $62,000.
**With just one racing date remaining in the 2023 Quarter Horse season, the tight, three-way battle for top jockey remained close as none of that trio won a race on Wednesday. Brian Bell (25 wins this year), JB Botello (22) and Ramiro Castillo were all shut out.
The final card of the 2023 Quarter Horse season is next Wednesday, Oct. 25 with the final of the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity and a first race post time of 12:55 p.m. 
(Photo- Angelle Carter – center – with sister Kelly and friend Darlene Pearson.
New Image Media – Clive Cohwn Photos

$61,020 final of the Ontario Sired Stakes Derby and Jockey Race drama!


Will A Shades of Cold Get Hot in Derby? Who Is Going to Win The Heated Jockey Race?

AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 17, 2023 –  There are just two racing dates remaining in the 2023 Quarter Horse season at Ajax Downs but plenty of races still to be run and a ‘battle royale’ between three of the track’s jockeys. This Wednesday, October 18, a seven-race card beginning at 12:55 p.m. is headlined by the $61,020 Ontario Sired Stakes Derby Final for 3-year-olds by stallions who stand in this province.

Lindsay, ON resident BRIAN BELL, currently leading the Ajax Downs’ riders with 25 victories, partners Amelie Aubut’s homebred gelding  A SHADES OF COLD, the fastest Trial winner, in the 350-yard OSS Derby final. A Shades of Cold, a son of Cold Hard Dash, edged the favoured filly Firstprize Charlotte in his Trial on Sept. 27, winning by a neck in 17.88 for a 93 speed index. That was the fourth career win for A Shades of Cold who is trained by Jason Pascoe.

Aubut is from Pont-Rouge, Quebec and A Shades of Cold is from her first small group of horses she bred herself. This is also the first time Aubut has had the fastest qualifier for a stakes race. A Shades of Cold and Bell will start from post 7 in the contentious, 10-horse field.

ADREAMTOBUILDAKISSON, owned, bred, and trained by Angelle Carter who is based at Fort Erie, was a handy winner of his Trial in 17.91 for a 92 speed index. The son of Dashair led all the way to win by half a length with his ears pricked. It was the second straight victory and third overall for Adreamtobuildakisson who will be ridden once again by Ismael Mosquiera. The pair line up in post 8 beside A Shades of Cold.

*Heading into this Wednesday’s races, bragging rights for the season’s top jockey are up in the air. Bell, whose 25 wins this season top the 22 wins for Ramiro Castillo and 20 for JB Botello, is actually third by points issued by the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario. Botello has 229 points to Castillo’s 225 and Bell’s 224 points. The QROOI points are awarded to jockey’s placing in races and the more valuable the race, the more points are awarded.

This week, Bell has 6 mounts (before scratches) Botello rides in 5 races and Castillo is named to ride 4 horses.

Come on out and cheer on your favourite jockey!


*Parking and admission are always free at Ajax Downs and the forecast for this Wednesday is for sunny skies and temperatures in the upper teens. You can watch and wager on the races from our trackside picnic tables. Watching and wagering is also available on Visit www.ajaxdowns,com for more information.