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Gridiron Gallop Highlights October 20 card at Ajax Downs; Big Week for owner Rick Crispi

Stakes stars Fiesty Icon and Maryland Magic get their first try at 110-yards in the Gridiron Gallop on October 20
The ‘Gridiron Gallop’, at the unique distance of 110-yards, is popular with racing fans as the start is virtually in front of the crowd. 
Ajax Downs photo
AJAX DOWNS, MONDAY OCTOBER 18, 2021 – Stakes winners FIESTY ICON and MARYLAND MAGIC will try something new at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, October 20 when they try to conquer the unique ‘Gridiron Gallop‘, a 110-yard sprint that will take less than seconds to run. The Gridiron Gallop is race eight on a 10-race Quarter Horse card that has a first race post time of 12:55 p.m. There are just three racing dates remaining in the 2021 Ajax Downs season which comes to a close on Nov. 3.
Wednesday’s feature race is for horses who have never won at the 110-yard distance and only four horses in the eight-horse field have even attempted the short sprint.
Rick Kennedy’s veteran Fiesty Icon, the 2020 Horse of the Year won the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on Aug. 18 at 330 yards and was recently fourth in the 400-yard Ontario Bred Maturity.  The nine-year-old is well known, however, for his sharp starts from the gate. Regular rider Tony Phillips will be aboard Fiesty Icon and they will break from post position eight. Maryland Magic, a three-time winner in 2021, won the 250-yard Sprint Series Leg 2 on Sept. 8 and this black stallion is in razor-sharp form for owner Milena Kwiecien. Ismael Mosquiera is named to ride.
Kwiecien, the meet’s leading owner, also has her fast little mare AJ Chick in 15 in the field and she has three top three placings in six tries at the Gridiron distance.
Christine Tavares’ Sugarmans Delight, who starts from post one came within a neck of winning at 110-yards in his second start of this year on July 21. The eight-year-old comes off one of the fastest wins of his career when he took an optional claiming race at 330 yards on Oct. 6 with a 101 speed index.
*Rick Crispi of Guelph is the second leading owner at Ajax Downs this year and has a chance to add to that total on Wednesday with contenders in races two and seven. And Crispi has an exciting week coming up as his top three-year-old Painted Snowclouds competes in the $150,000 Adequan Derby Challenge (Grade 3) at The Downs at Albuquerque, New Mexico on Oct. 23. Trained by Clint Crawford, Painted Snowclouds is a three-time winner this year and qualified for the Adequan Derby with a close second-place finish in the Ruidoso Derby Challenge in August. 
“This is a very exciting event and the culmination of the Bank of America Challenge Series, one of the premier Quarter Horse racing events in the world,” said Crispi. “I am privileged to be the owner of such an outstanding racehorse.”  Post positions for the Adequan Derby and four other Championship races will be drawn on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
(Photo – Owner Rick Crispi with Ajax Downs’ leading rider Cory Spataro)
* To attend the races on Oct. 20, sign up at www.ajaxdowns.com. You can also watch a live stream of the Ajax Downs races on our Facebook page or YouTube channel and wager through www.hpibet.com. Two Pick 4 wagers will be offered on the card.

Night Fishn is the one to catch at Ajax Downs on October 13

Night Fishn Looks to Reel In Rivals in Ajax Downs Feature Oct. 13
Night Fishn, owned and bred by Mary Schrama of Millbrook, Ontario, tops the October 13 feature at Ajax Downs. New Image Media Photo
AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 11, 2021 – Mary Schrama’s homebred NIGHT FISHN is one of the headliners in a competitive feature race Wednesday, October 13 at Ajax Downs. The $14,000 open race for Ontario sired Quarter Horses, three-year-olds and upward, has attracted a strong field of stakes winners who will race 330-yards in race seven on the eight-race card, which includes three other allowance events.
Night Fishin, a seven-year-old daughter of Sugarman Perry, is a stakes winner with eight career wins and she was recently third in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on August 18 to 2020 Horse of the Year Fiesty Icon, earning an impressive 97-speed index. Trained by Schrama’s husband Dan Giles, the sorrel mare was recently a closing fourth in the 250-yard third-leg of the QROOI Sprint Series, matching that 97-speed index. Night Fishn will relish the added distance of Wednesday’s feature and Ricardo Moreno will be on board for the first time. The pair will start from post position three.
This year’s Picov Maturity winner FIRING RED JESS is a formidable opponent as the six-year-old has tackled some of the toughest older horses on the circuit in recent races, He was recently fifth in the 400-yard Ontario Bred Maturity won by Had to Be Ivory who set a track record for 400-yards in that victory.  Firing Red Jess is owned by Peterborough’s George Coleman and trained by Scott Reid. Carly Furlonger will ride the gelding who will start from post two.
Jess Carolinas Award, winner of the 2020 Ontario Sires Derby for owner and breeder Rick Crispi, has draw post one with Ramiro Castillo riding and 2020 Ontario Bred Derby winner Hanover Hill Chalsee, owned by Picov Cattle Cattle, will start from post six under Tony Phillips.
The field is completed by a pair of top runners owned by Christine Tavares and trained by husband Joe: their fast mare Junoimzoomin has post four with Cory Spataro riding and the improving Perryfunnysteven has Brian Bell aboard from post five.
First race post time on Oct. 13 is 12:55 p.m. Fans can register to attend the races by visiting www.ajaxdowns.com. Keep up to date on Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs by following us on social media, @AjaxDowns. 
The QROOI (www.qrooi.com) represents all horsepeople in Quarter Horse racing and offers options to become involved in the ownership of your own Quarter Horse.


Trials for $100,000 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity Set for October 6

Trials for $100,000 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity Set for October 6
Milena Kwiecien’s SW The Redeemer, shown winning at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota on August 11, is a contender in the first of two Trials for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity Oct. 6 at Ajax Downs; Heather Grevelis/Canterbury Downs photo
AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 4, 2021 – Seventeen 2-year-old Quarter Horses will vie for a spot in the final for the $100,000 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity in two Time Trials at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, October 6. The Picov Futurity is the richest race of the Ajax Downs meeting and the final will be held on October 27.
The Trials, at 400 yards, are races three and four on a strong 10-race card that also includes the third leg of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Distance Series, to be run at 440 yards.
The first Futurity Trial, worth $8,000, has a formidable trio from the barn of leading trainer Jason Pascoe. Both SW THE REDEEMER and EYE LIVE FOR CANDY, owned by Milena Kwicien of Burlington, are making their Ajax Downs debuts after beginning their careers in the U.S. SW The Redeemer, the first foal of multiple Ajax Downs winner Rockin Miss Kitty, recently won his maiden at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota after finishing second beaten only a neck in the $71,000 Minnesota Quarter Horse Futurity in his previous start. Ricardo Moreno will ride the bay gelding from post position five.
Eye Live for Candy, a brown filly, won a Trial for the $137,000 Northland Futurity at Canterbury but was bounced around out of the gate in the final and lost all chance. Ismael Mosquiera gets the mount.
The third Pascoe trainee is Belinda Taggart’s Ontario bred KOLD KINDA STAR who was third in the Ontario Bred Futurity and fourth in the Ontario Sires Futurity.
FIRST COLD WAVE will be heavily favoured to take the second Trial against eight rivals. The Ontario sired and bred son of first year stallion Cold Hard Dash won the Ontario Sires Futurity on Sept. 15 for his third win in five races. Owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood, ON, First Cold Wave starts from post nine with Brian Bell riding. 
Ontario Bred Futurity winner Night Leader, second to First Cold Wave in the OSS Futurity starts from post one for Scott Reid and John Wilson with Carly Furlonger riding. Impressive debut winner Lethal Tres Seis, owned by Richard Wincikaby and trained by Michelle Woodley, is another contender and he has post position eight with Cory Spataro riding.
The Alex Picov Memorial Futurity has been won by great Canadian Quarter Horses such as One Kool Wave, Jumping Guitar, Had to Be Ivory, and last year, Streakinlilwagon was the winner for Jason Pascoe.
The October 6 co-feature is race eight, the $20,000 QROOI Distance Series, leg 3 headed by Spy for the Senate, who won the first leg of the series, Maryland Magic, winner of the third leg of the Sprint Series, and multiple stakes placed Countrys Comin Bac.
First race post time on Oct. 6 is 12:55 p.m. Fans can register to attend the races by visiting www.ajaxdowns.com. Keep up to date on Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs by following us on social media, @AjaxDowns. The QROOI (www.qrooi.com) represents all horsepeople in Quarter Horse racing and offers options to become involved in the ownership of your own Quarter Horse.

Streakinlilwagon Races to Picov Derby Victory; ‘Ivory’ Takes Maturity

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Streakinlilwagon Races to Picov Derby Victory; ‘Ivory’ Takes Maturity

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STREAKINLILWAGON, owned by Jason Pascoe and Bryanne Langford’s GFR Equine Services, took the Picov Derby, Sept. 29; Jockey Ismael Mosquiera kisses his winning mount. (New Image Media, JM photos)

AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 29, 2021 – GFR EQUINE SERVICES’ STREAKINLILWAGON turned on the jets late to win the $61,020 Picov Derby for 3-year-old Quarter horses on September 29 at Ajax Downs. The small bay filly and her rider Ismael Mosquiera overcame a bit of an awkward start at the outset of the 400-yard dash, chased Twixt of Fate, and then overhauled that big gelding about 100 yards from the finish to win by three-quarter of a length. It was the fourth straight victory for the Jason Pascoe trainee.
Twixt of Fate, owned by Richard Wincikaby and trained by Michelle Woodley, held second over a closing Had to Be Relentless, owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson. The time, run into a headwind of 18 mph, was 20.326 for an 88 speed index.
Perrier Special, winner of the fastest of two Trials for the Picov Derby, was a late scratch.
Streakinlilwagon, is an Oklahoma bred by Fast Prize Jordan from the mare La Jollas Fortune, and was bred by GFR Equine, which is owned by Jason Pascoe and Bryanne Langford of Pontypool, ON.
“She was a little bit behind [Twixt of Fate] but you just have to be patient and get her speed under her legs,” said Mosquiera who was winning his biggest race of his career at Ajax Downs and his third of the day. “She’s just an amazing filly with great speed and finish.”
Pascoe was celebrating his second consecutive Picov Derby, taking last year’s edition with Ec Grey’s Anatomy.
“When we started working with her we thought she was pretty decent but she was really, really small, that was our biggest concern. But she’s really light on the ground, she knows how to win races and we’re very lucky to have her.”
Pascoe and Langford raced the filly’s champion half brother, Streakinshagginwagon, the 2014 Horse of the Year.
The Picov Derby was the fifth win in nine races for Streakinlilwagon this year and ninth overall from 14 starts. She won the $83,000 Canterbury Derby in Minnesota on Aug. 11. Her career earnings stand at $157,319.
Earlier in the afternoonHAD TO BE IVORY won the day’s co-featured Ontario Bred Maturity, worth $41,040 for his third straight victory of 2021. The 2019 Horse of the Year, owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson and ridden by Cory Spataro, held off a determined rally by Ralph Pearson’s Countrys Comin Bac to win the 400-yard race in 20.090 for a 94 speed index. The big Ontario bred by Ivory James, foaled at the Robertson’s Hillerin Farm in Hillsburgh, was coming off a track-record setting win in the QROOI Distance series (2). The 6-year-old has won three of four races in 2021 and 16 of 20 starts with career earnings of $275,181.
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Had to Be Ivory (right) reaches out to win the $41,040 Ontario Bred Maturity
(New Image Media Photo)
Next week’s racing, October 6, features the Trials for the prestigious Alex Picov Memorial Futurity for 2-year-olds. To pre-register to attend the day of racing, go to www.ajaxdowns.com and sign up beginning Oct. 4.
Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns for updates.
To learn more about getting into the Quarter Horse industry as an owner or part-owner, please contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario at www.qrooi.com.
Full video of Sept. 29 race card – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_lEEWgyz54&t=16202s

$61,020 Picov Derby, $41,040 Ontario Bred Maturity Headline Big Card at Ajax Downs Sept. 29

Streakinlilwagon Favoured for Re-Scheduled $61,020 Picov Derby, Sept. 29 – By Jennifer Morrison 
Streaking filly STREAKINLILWAGON (4)  goes for her fourth straight win in the final of the Picov Derby this Wednesday, September 29. New Image Media photo
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 – The best 3-year-old Quarter Horses in Ontario will square off this Wednesday, September 29 in the final for the $61,020 Picov Derby at Ajax Downs.  The Picov Derby was scheduled for last Wednesday, Sep. 22 but heavy rain led to the cancellation of the card. The competitive Picov Derby is race 9 on a big, 10-race card of racing which includes the $41,040 Ontario Bred Maturity led by champions Had to Be Ivory and Fiesty Icon.
The 9th running of the Picov Derby is a 400-yard event with the 10 fastest sophomores from two Time Trials held on Sept. 1 including Trial winners STREAKINLILWAGON and PERRIER SPECIAL. 
Multiple stakes winner Streakinlilwagon, a bay filly bred in Oklahoma by GFR Equine Services of Jason Pascoe and Bryanne Langford of Pontypool, ON seeks her fourth straight win of 2021 and her ninth career victory. The top 2-year-old filly of 2020 returned from a successful trip to Canterbury Downs in Minnesota where she won the $83,000 Canterbury Derby to win her Trial with an 89 speed index. Ridden for the first time that day by Ismael Mosquiera, the daughter of Fast Prize Jordan, was just up to defeat Twixt of Fate who had a stumbling beginning.
Ontario-bred Twixt of Fate, owned by Richard Wincikaby and trained by Michelle Woodley had been second in the Ontario Bred Derby in his previous race. He will be ridden for the first time by Brian Bell on Wednesday.
The towering gelding Perrier Special won the second Picov Derby Trial on Sept. 1 with a slightly faster 91 speed index. Owned and bred in Ontario by Erik and Joyce Lehtinen, Perrier Special led throughout his Trial and won by three-quarters of a length under Tony Phillips over a fast closing Jm Southern Express, also owned by Pascoe, and ridden by Ricard Moreno.
The 10th running of the Ontario Bred Maturity goes as race 7 at 400 yards for four-year-olds and older foaled in Ontario. HAD TO BE IVORY, the 2019 Horse of the Year, is in the best form of his career having set the track record for the distance in his latest win, Aug. 11, in the $20,000 Distance Series -2. Owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson, Had to be Ivory seeks his third straight win this year and he will start from post position four with Cory Spataro riding. The 2020 Horse of the Year, FIESTY ICON, starts from post two and comes off a win in the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity over FIRING RED JESS, who won the Picov Maturity in July. Firing Red Jess drew the rail for Wednesday’s race.
First race post time on Wednesday is 12:55 p.m. 
To pre-register to attend the day of racing, go to www.ajaxdowns.com and sign up beginning Sept. 27.
Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns for updates.
To learn more about getting into the Quarter Horse industry as an owner or part-owner, please contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario at www.qrooi.com.
THE FIELD – $61,020 PICOV DERBY- Race 9

Purse $61,020. For Three-Year-Olds, Four Hundred Yards.

PP– Horse–   Jockey –Trainer– Morning Line Odds
1 Kk Blue Cartel –H Vanek–  C Spada –8/1
2 Had to Be Relentless — J Scott–  B Robertson– 8/1
3 Jessaprimadonna –C Furlonger– C Spada –10/1
4 Jm Southern Express –R Moreno–  J Pascoe– 4/1
5 Perrier Special–  T Phillips –E Lehtinen –7/2
6 Twixt of Fate –B Bell–  M Woodley –6/1
7 Streakinlilwagon –I E Mosqueira –J Pascoe –3/1
8 Americas Rocket Man– C Spataro –C Spada –10/1
9 Rosie Perry–  C Jeschke –C Spada –12/1
10 Sr Blue Hawk –R S Castillo –J Pascoe –15/1

Owners: 1 – Craig Spada and Doug Hart ; 2 – Robertson, Carol and Jaime ; 3 – Craig Spada and Isaak Fehr ; 4 – GFR Equine Services ; 5 – Lehtinen, Joyce and Erik ; 6 – Richard Wincikaby ; 7 – GFR Equine Services ; 8 – Irwin Wall ; 9 – Erin Chrisman ; 10 – Amelie Aubut

Breeders: 1 – Kk Horse Racing; 2 – Carol and Jaime Robertson; 3 – Leroy Janacek Jr; 4 – Jimmy Maddux; 5 – Joyce And/Or Erik Lehtinen; 6 – Gary McNichol; 7 – Gfr Equine Services; 8 – Irwin Wall; 9 – Erin Chrisman; 10 – Silvia Robles

Purse $4,040. For Ontario Bred Four Year Olds & Upward Four Hundred Yards.

PP– Horse –Jockey– Trainer– Morning Line 
1 Firing Red Jess C Furlonger S Reid 10/1
2 Fiesty Icon T Phillips R W Kennedy 7/2
3 Shes Sizzling H M Vanek E Lehtinen 15/1
4 Had to Be Ivory C Spataro B Robertson 5/2
5 Countrys Comin Bac C Jeschke D Reid 3/1
6 Tres On Fire I E Mosqueira C McIntyre 5/1
Owners: 1 – George Coleman ; 2 – Richard W. Kennedy ; 3 – Lehtinen, Joyce and Erik ; 4 – Robertson, Carol and Jaime ; 5 – Ralph Pearson ; 6 – Big Dog Racing Stable

Breeders: 1 – Guylaine Paquin; 2 – Picov Cattle Co; 3 – Joyce And/Or Erik Lehtinen; 4 – Carol and Jaime Robertson; 5 – Marko Naterer; 6 – Gary McNichol