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Will the Mouse Roar? Ontario Sires Stakes Derby Trials at Ajax Downs

Ontario Sires Stakes Derby Trials: Exciting Day for Peggy Burne
Speedy Country Mouse (Cassandra Jeschke up) will be the first stakes starter for owner/trainer Peggy Burne and nephew Carl Callahan in Wednesday’s OSS Derby Trials. New Image Media photo
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 26, 2023 – The racing action will be fast and furious at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, September 27 with two Trials for the Ontario Sires Stakes Derby for 3-year-olds. Also on the eight-race card of Quarter Horse racing is the third leg of the Sprint Series with some of the track’s top older horses.
And, the jockey race for year-end honours continues to be a great battle with just five racing dates remaining in the 2023 season. JB Botello has 197 QROOI points and is just ahead of Ramiro Castillo, with 193 and Brian Bell, who has 188. Bell is the leading rider by wins this year with 20.
Wednesday is a big day for owner and trainer Peggy Burne of Stouffville as she starts her first horse in a stakes race Trial. SPEEDY COUNTRY MOUSE, a daughter of Mr. Jess Tex, is in the first of two Trials, race 5, for the OSS Derby, and the 10 fastest qualifiers advance to the $55,000-added final on October 18.
Bred by the late Gloria Egerton, Speedy Country Mouse has won two of her eight career races and just about won her most recent start on Aug. 16 when she was second by a neck.
“Mouse is a gritty little horse who always gives her all,” said Burne, who is assisted by her nephew Carl Callahan on race days. “We know she will definitely try.” Each time Burne races a horse at Ajax Downs, she is backed by a cheering section that includes her daughter Debbie, Egerton’s daughter Kelly, and many of Callahan’s family members.
Speedy Country Mouse, who will have her regular rider Cassandra Jeschke aboard, takes on stakes winner FIRSTPRIZE CHARLOTTE and four others in her Trial.
The second OSS Trial, race 6, includes recent winner ADREAMTOBUILDAKISSON, owned and trained by Angelle Carter and ridden by Ismael Mosquiera and Big Dog Racing’s TEX DYNASTY, who is trained by Carol McIntyre and will be ridden by Alexis Sanchez.
First race post time on Wednesday is 12:55 p.m.  Admission and parking a free and fans can watch and wager on the races from trackside tables or bet through www.HPIBET.com.

Dark N Stormy is a star on the Rise; Ajax Downs approved for Battle of the Breeds!

Dark N Stormy a Star on the Rise; Ajax Downs Approved for Battle of the Breeds Races
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 20, 2023:  Stamping himself as a horse with a very bright future, DARK N STORMY, a 3-year-old, sped away from a classy field of older horses in the featured QROOI Overnight Distance Series dash at 440-yards on a sunny afternoon at Ajax Downs on September 20. 
Owned by Craig Spada and trained by Lauren Spada, Dark N Stormy quickly cleared his four rivals from post position two and powered to a one-length victory in the $12,733 race in a fast time of 21.880 for a career best 99 speed index. The 2021 Horse of the Year First Cold Wave finished a game second with Jess Carolinas Award third.
It was the third official win for Dark N Stormy from nine starts but the quirky colt had actually crossed the finish line on top in his last five races, only to be disqualified from two of them. The fast bay colt is a Louisiana bred by Carters Cartel, bred by Spring Hill Farm.
“We were hoping for a clean win, without trouble,” said winning rider Alexis Sanchez. “He has all the talent and the heart.”
Ajax Downs hosted a large event on Wednesday for the retirees of Unifor Local 222 and several hundred took in the seven-race card.
*There was some great news for Ajax Downs announced earlier in the day. The track has been granted regulatory approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to have ‘Battle of the Breeds’ racing. This is exciting news for the track as Thoroughbreds can now compete against Quarter Horses in selected races which will take place around a turn (hook races). For more information on racing a Thoroughbred at Ajax Downs, and for all other inquiries, contact info@ ajaxdowns.com.
*Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Sept. 27 with a first race post race of 12:55. For all the latest news and race dates, visit www.ajaxdowns.com.

Ajax Downs Raceday, September 20, Jockey Race Heating Up!

Jockey Race Heats Up at Ajax Downs!
Jockey RAMIRO CASTILLO (winning aboard Fly Belle Cartel last month) is in a tight race for Ajax Downs’ Champion Rider of 2023.
New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023 – With only six dates left in the 2023 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse calendar, much of the remaining racing has championship implications. In particular, the jockey’s race for the most Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario, Inc. points is a doozy with three riders battling it out for the year-end trophy.
Ajax Downs’ 20th day of the season is this Wednesday, September 20 with a first race post time of 12:55. The seven-race card includes the QROOI Overnight Distance Series which has lured FIRST COLD WAVE, who won the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on Sept. 3 and is one of the top older horses of the year. The Distance Series will be First Cold Wave’s first attempt at 440-yards. Helen Vanek rides.
Also in the Distance Series field is long-distance specialist JESS A DEAL, who will be ridden by Ramiro Castillo, the very fast 3-year-old DARK N STORMY, with Castillo’s son Alexis Sanchez on board, HANOVER HILL THERESA, with Carly Furlonger riding and JESS CAROLINAS AWARD with Tony Phillips up.
The race for the jockey championship in 2023 is currently a three-way battle. JB BOTELLO, who does double-duty riding in Alberta and Ontario, has 189 points, including 16 wins this season at Ajax Downs. Botello, who is in his ninth year of riding Quarter Horses, has 31 wins in Canada and is currently in the midst of a career year.
BRIAN BELL, one of Ajax Downs’ all-time leading riders who is nearing 800 career wins, has 188 points and leads all riders this year at Ajax with 20 victories. And RAMIRO CASTILLO, originally from Mexico and a previous champion jockey at Ajax, also has 188 points which includes 19 wins at the meeting.
Will it be the jock from the West continuing to hold his Eastern rivals at bay or will Castillo and Bell get the upper hand in the final days of the season? Come on out to Ajax Downs to find out!
*A reminder that there is a special Thanksgiving Monday card of racing at Ajax Downs, October 9, with a pumpkin giveaway and decorating event for kids.
*For more information about racing dates and events please visit www.ajaxdowns.com. To get involved as a Quarter Horse owner, contact the QROOI at www.qrooi.com.

Picov Derby, Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity Highlight Big Ajax Downs Card Sept. 13

Picov Derby, Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity Highlight Big Card Wednesday at Ajax Downs
Ontario-bred SNOW MOOSE looks for his fourth stakes victory in the $53,730 Norman Picov Derby at Ajax Downs on Sept. 13
New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023 – Some of the top 2 and 3-year-old Quarter Horses will be in action at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, September 13 in the $60,795 Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity and $53,730 Norman Picov Derby. Both races have drawn big fields and the results could go a long way in determining year-end championships.
With the arrival of autumn, the first race post time at Ajax Downs is now 12:55 p.m.
Ten Ontario-sired juveniles who qualified through two Trials on Aug. 23 will race 330 yards in the OSS Futurity final. Milena Kwiecien’s fast filly PRETTY MAGICALL, trained by Jason Pascoe, won the slightly faster of the trials, leading all the way to win in a time of 17.37 for an 82 speed index. The daughter of Maryland Magic was previously third by a head in the Ontario Bred Futurity. J B Botello rides Pretty Magicall and they will break from post7.
GENERAL SKYWALKER has been a force in his first year of racing for Marie Broadstock and trainer Bob Broadstock. The big gelding won the Stallion Auction Futurity in his second start and recently won his Trial for the OSS Futurity in 17.45 for an 80 speed index. Ramiro Castillo will guide General Skywalker from post three. His stablemate, SUGAR N PRIDE (post 2), trained by Broadstock for owner George Coleman is also a contender with Rachael Isaacs riding as is Ontario Bred Futurity winner SNOW MAGICALLY SWEET, who starts from post 7 with Alexis Sanchez riding.
The 10th Norman Picov Derby also has a 10-horse field led by multiple stakes winner SNOW MOOSE, who was recently disqualified from what would have been his fifth straight victory of the year. The Ontario-bred grey by Seperate Interest has posted impressive speed indexes of 103, 102 and 101 in his last three races. Owned by Kwiecien and trained by Pascoe, Snow Moose will be ridden by Brian Bell from post 8.
Snow Moose has some stern challengers including Princess Derby winner HAD TO BE IVY (Josh Scott riding, post 3), VALIANT CHICK INSNOW (Botello, post 7) and SOUR CANDY (Sanchez, post 9).
The forecast for Wednesday is for sunny skies and a pleasant 20 degrees Celcius, Fans can watch and wager on the Ajax Downs races from the trackside tables or its popular simulcast room. You can also watch and wager on the eight-race card at www.HPBet.com. For a free pocket program, entries and news, visit www.ajaxdowns.com.
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First Cold Wave Sizzles in Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity

First Cold Wave Sizzles In Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity
First Cold Wave and jockey Helen Vanek won the $40,860 Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity by a neck over favourite Sugarmans Delight at Ajax Downs on Fan Appreciation Day, Sept. 3. – New Image Media Photo
AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 3, 2023 – On a sizzling hot Labour Day weekend afternoon, FIRST COLD WAVE iced his competition in the 11th running of the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity at Ajax Downs. Sent off as the 7 to 2 second favourite by a large crowd attending Fan Appreciation Day at the track, First Cold Wave and substitute rider Helen Vanek broke sharply from post position 7 and were in an early duel with favoured Sugarmans Delight, owned by Joe Tavares. The pair battled it out to the finish of the 330-yard race with First Cold Wave winning by a head in a time of 16.779 for an impressive 101 speed index.
Sugarmans Delight, fresh off two consecutive wins this summer, was a length ahead of  James Bogar’s Im Aquick Corona, who landed third by a neck over the mare Night Fishn.
Vanek, who won two races on the afternoon, admitted she did not know a lot about the Jason Pascoe trainee First Cold Wave going into the Maturity.
“I have seen him race the last couple of years and I have adored him,” said Vanek. “He was definitely accelerating with me today. He’s got a lot of heart and he’s a great horse.”
Owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood, ON, First Cold Wave was the 2021 Ajax Downs Horse of the Year and won the 2022 Ontario Bred Derby. A winner once in five previous races in 2023, the son of Cold Hard Dash from the mare Cassies Carver has now won eight of 21 races and earned over $194,000.
“We just tried a couple of things with him [to change things up] today. He ran a beautiful race,” said Bailey. “He’s a lot of fun and a good boy.”
* A racing rarity occurred earlier on the Ajax Downs card when two horses owned and trained by James Bogar of Cameron, dead-heated for first. The filly Jezzabella, ridden by Rachael Isaacs, and stablemate Bogie Wheels, with Ismael Mosquiera riding, could not be separated at the end of the 250-yard allowance race.
Two horses owned and trained by James Bogar landed in a dead-heat 
for win in race 2. Jezzabella (inside) and Bogie Wheels could not be separated 
by the photo finish camera – New Image Media Photo
*Jockey Ramiro Castillo won three races on the afternoon to draw within one victory of leading rider Brian Bell.
*Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, September 13 with the finals of the Norman Picov Derby and Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity for 2-year-olds. Post time is 12:55 p.m.