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Carneros Powers to QROOI Sprint Series Score; 4 Wins for Trainer Jason Pascoe

Carneros Caps Huge Day at Ajax Downs for Kwiecien, Pascoe, and Bell
CARNEROS and jockey Brian Bell asserted their authority in the second leg of the QROOI Sprint Series on June 29, one of four victories on the day for trainer Jason Pascoe (New Image Media photo)
AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 29, 2022 – Solidifying his reign as the top short distance Quarter Horse in the country, CARNEROS powered to a half-length victory in the $19,870 QROOI Sprint Series, #2 at Ajax Downs on June 29. The 7-year-old gelding’s victory in the 220-yard feature race on the nine-race card was the fourth win of the day for his trainer Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, ON, and third winner for owner Milena Kwiecien of Burlington and third for veteran jockey Brian Bell of Lindsay.
Carneros, who once set a world record for 110-yards, began his 2022 campaign with a victory in the first leg of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Sprint Series and was coming off a close second-place finish in the Picov Maturity at 300-yards to champion Had to Be Ivory.
Sent off as the heavy 1 to 5 favourite on Wednesday, Carneros broke like a bullet and held Mary Schrama’s Ontario-bred mare Night Fishn safe to win in a fast time of 11.935 for a 98 speed index. Steve Hunter’s Zoxtobeyou, also an Ontario bred, finished third.
“Jason has had him in perfect shape this year, he’s an awesome horse,” said Bell, who won three races on the day to move into a tie for second on the leading rider standings with seven wins.
Carneros, a son of Prospect to the Top, has 14 career wins in 43 races and earnings of over $163,000.
Kwiecien, Ajax Downs’ leading owner, padded her lead with three wins on the nine-race card, held on a warm and breezy afternoon.
“Carneros is just the coolest little horse ever and probably the sweetest gelding on the planet too,” said Kwiecien. “I promised his breeders Butch and Nancy Wise (from Oklahoma) that I will have him forever. He deserves the best home and most cushy retirement.”
Pascoe sent out four winners on the day, five if you consider On Pointe, owned by his mother Sharon, who won race 3 but was disqualified and placed fourth.
Kwiecien also won with her Ontario homebred Countryfried Chicken, trained by Pascoe, and a son of her own stallion Maryland Magic, and Kold Kinda Star (Pascoe), a son of Cold Hard Dash, a stallion she owns in partnership.
Pascoe has 15 wins after eight days of Ajax Downs meeting, while Scott Reid, who won two races on June 29, sits in second with seven wins.
Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, July 6 with the final of the $60,000-added Ontario Bred Futurity for 2-year-olds. First race post time is 1:30 p.m. You can keep up to date on Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs by following @AjaxDowns on social media and visiting www.ajaxdowns.com

$20,000 Sprint Series, Leg 2, Highlights Nine-Race Card at Ajax Downs June 29

Battle of the Speedsters in $20,000 QROOI Sprint Series Wednesday
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There wasn’t much separating Carneros (inside) and Zoxtobeyou in the first leg of the QROOI Sprint Series on May 22 and the pair square off again in leg 2 on June 29 (New Image Media Photo)
AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 27, 2022 – A full slate of nine races, including the second leg of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario’s Sprint Series, is on tap at the Quarter Horse races at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, June 29.
First race post time is 1:30 p.m.
The $20,000 QROOI Sprint Series at 220-yards has attracted the top five finishers from the first leg of the three-race series including CARNEROS, who began his 2022 campaign with a win in that 110-yard dash. Trained by Jason Pascoe, the track’s leading conditioner, Carneros and jockey Brian Bell edged Ontario-bred ZOXTOBEYOU by a neck with multiple champion FIESTY ICON a close third over Maryland Magic and Chicksdigmymoneybags.
Carneros came back from that win to finish a strong second in the Picov Maturity on June 1, just three-quarters of a length behind champion Had to Be Ivory.
“He’s been training like a machine this year,” said Bell following the 7-year-old gelding’s Sprint Series win on May 22. “His biggest thing has always been the gate, I have to make sure he is standing right up close to the front of it and not pulling back a bit.”
ZOXTOBEYOU, owned and bred by Steve Hunter and trained by Janet Grice, came back from his second-place finish in the first leg of the Sprint series to win on June 19 under regular rider Lloyd DeSouza. And Ontario bred FIESTY ICON, a two-time Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs, will be making his second start of the season on Wednesday for owner and trainer Rick Kennedy. Tony Phillips rides.
The field is completed by the 3-year-old SW THE REDEEMER with Ricardo Moreno riding and Mary Schrama’s tough mare NIGHT FISHN, who was competitive against the top handicap horses in 2021.
The QROOI Sprint Series-2 is race 9 on the Wednesday card which features the popular Pick 5 wager, two Pick 4’s, and rolling Pick 3’s.
Admission is always free at Ajax Downs and you can also watch and wager on the races at www.hpibet.com. A free pocket program is available at www.ajaxdowns.com.
You can follow Ajax Downs on social media at @AjaxDowns (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), and to find out more about the QROOI and how to become an owner or part-owner of your own Quarter Horse, contact www.qrooi.com.

Sweet victory for Eye Live for Candy in $53,010 Princess Derby

Sweet victory for Eye Live for Candy in $53,010 Princess Derby
Eye Live for Candy romps to a big win in the $53,010 Princess Derby at Ajax Downs on June 19. (Clive Cohen photo).
AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 19, 2022 – On a picture-perfect early summer afternoon, racing fans crammed Ajax Downs on Sunday, June 19 for a special Father’s Day card of Quarter Horse racing and were treated to a day of exciting competition. The highlight of the afternoon was the popular victory by EYE LIVE FOR CANDY in the $53,010 Princess Derby for 3-year-olds fillies at 350 yards.
Sent off at 3 to 5 odds ($3.40 to win) by the shrewd betting crowd, Eye Live for Candy and jockey Ismael Mosquiera flew to a 1 3/4 length victory in the major race for 3-year-old fillies in a quick time of 18.021 into a 17 mph headwind for an 89 index. Owned by Burlington, Ontario’s Milena Kwiecien and trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool. Eye Live for Candy had won one of the two Trials for the Derby on June 1 despite a bad start from the gate but the brown filly was straight and strong in the final.
“She gets very impatient sometimes,” said Mosquiera, Ajax Downs’ leading rider. “I just had to make her very relaxed and we had drawn a very nice post position (9). She wasn’t in the gate very long and when we got out of the gate and she started opening up, I said ‘wow’.”
Longshot Jtc Lil Moonbar, a 12 to 1 chance for owner and trainer Don Reid won the mad scramble for second place by a neck over John Wilson’s Ontario-bred filly Oh My Gawd.
“I thought she was going to be a better 3-year-old this year, she was a little immature as a 2-year-old,” said Pascoe, currently the leading trainer at Ajax Downs. 
Eye Live for Candy was winning for the third time in her 13th career start and collected $21,205 for the Derby win, bringing her career total earnings to over $65,000. The filly was purchased privately by Kwiecien in 2021 from breeder Klay Hinck of Wyoming.
Eye Live for Candy with her winning team including owner Milena Kwiecien (far left), trainer Jason Pascoe (far right) and his daughter Jessica (holding trophy). 
*The supporting feature on the Father’s Day card was the first leg of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario (QROOI) Distance series and champion HAD TO BE IVORY strutted his stuff once again, winning the 400- yard dash under jockey Josh Scott by half a length in 19.959 for a 97 speed index.
Owned and bred by Carol and Jaime Robertson of Hillsburgh and trained by Bryn Robertson, Had to Be Ivory was winning for the  18th time in his 24th career race. The Ontario- bred 7-year-old, who won the Picov Maturity on June 1 in his season debut, now has earnings over $300,000.
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Champion Had to Be Ivory and jockey Josh Scott rolled to victory  in the QROOI Distance Series #1  – Clive Cohen/ New Image Media Photo
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A huge crowd cheered on the Quarter Horses at Ajax Downs on a special Father’s Day card. Jess a Deal and jockey Cassandra Jeschke won their fourth straight race together in race 2 – Clive Cohen/New Image Media photo.
*The next racing day at Ajax Downs is Wednesday, June 29, with a first race post time of 1:30 p.m. Keep up to date on news and events throughout the 2022 season at www.ajaxdowns.com and follow us on social media @AjaxDowns.

Firstprize Charlotte Leads Ontario Bred Futurity Trials Inbox – Jennifer Morrison

Owner Richard Wincikaby, trainer Michelle Woodley, Qualify  Five Juveniles for Ontario Bred Futurity
Firstprize Charlotte flew to a big win in her career debut in the second Trial for the Ontario Bred Futurity. She is one of five 2-year-olds who qualified for the $60,000 final for owner Richard Wincikaby and owner/trainer Michelle Woodley. (New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo)
AJAX DOWN, JUNE 15, 2022 – What a day it was at Ajax Downs on June 15 for owner Richard Wincikaby of New Liskeard, ON, and trainer Michelle Woodley as the team won both Trials for the rich Ontario Bred Futurity for 2-year-olds and qualified five youngsters for the final on July 6, worth $60,000.
FIRSTPRIZE CHARLOTTE was a dominating winner of the second Trial, setting the fastest time. for 300-yards. of the two Trials of 15.584, with a two-length victory under jockey Cory Spataro over stablemate Da Zoom, with Cassandra Jeschke riding. Firstprize Charlotte, making her career debut, was bred by Wincikaby and is a daughter of the late Ontario stallion Dashair from the mare Ms First Prize Pearl, a five-time winner at Ajax Downs.
One race earlier, it was Spataro riding the Wincikaby-owned and bred, Woodley-trained SOUR CANDY, who won the first Trial in the first start of his career, by a neck over Silver Lyning, owned and bred by Woodley, with the second-fastest time of the Trials of the 15.642. Sour Candy is the son of Jess Good Candy. Silver Lyning was one length ahead of third-place finisher Had to Be Ivy, the race favourite. Another Wincikaby/ Woodley trainee, Quick Asa Hicccup finished fourth.
“It’s awesome,” said Woodley, who trains her horses with partner and former leading Ajax Downs jockey Jorn McInerney. “We start the babies in the fall and then again in the wrong. You hope that they make the races. I have to give John most of the credit. The babies are his passion and he loves them and spends an enormous amount of time with them.”
“It takes a village though. Cory and Ed Walton and Ray McLellan help us at the farm and the track and the gate guys here are great. And we couldn’t do any of this without the Wincikabys  who breed and buy nice horses and give them to us.”
The 10 fastest qualifiers from the two Trials advance to the final on July 6.
When asked about which Trial winner he may partner in the final. Spataro left the decision up to Woodley and McInerney.
Quarter Horse Racing continues at Ajax Downs this Sunday, Father’s Day, June 19 with the final of the Princess Derby for 3-year-olds fillies. The special Father’s Day card will also offer fans a free Ajax Downs t-shirt with a program purchase and voucher giveaways throughout the afternoon.
First race post time on Sunday is 12:55 p.m. For the latest news on Quarter Horse racing and events at Ajax Downs follow us @AjaxDowns on social media and at www.ajaxdowns.com.

Oh Baby! Ontario Bred 2-Year-Olds in Trials for $60,0000 Futurity Inbox – Jennifer Morrison

Oh Baby! Ontario Bred 2-Year-Olds in Trials for $60,0000 Futurity
Quick Asa Hicccup (left with John McInerney riding) and Silver Lyning (Ryan McLellan) have a workout at Ajax Downs getting ready for their first career starts, June 15. LAURIE OVERTON PHOTO
AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 14, 2022 – Ontario Quarter Horse racing fans will get their first look at the new crop of Ontario-bred 2-year-olds in two Trials for the Ontario Bred Futurity at Ajax Downs this Wednesday, June 15. The top 10 fastest times from the two, eight-horse Trials will advance to the $60,000 final on July 6.
Most of the youngsters entered in the Trials, which are races 3 and 4 on Wednesday at 300-yards, are making the first starts of their career including a five-pack from the barn of trainer Michelle Woodley of Hillsburgh, ON.
“It’s exciting to have all five of our 2-year-olds in the Trials”, said Woodley, who owns one of the starters with partner, former leading Ajax Downs jockey John McInerney, and trains the other four for Richard Wincikaby of New Liskeard.
“Three of them, the ones in the first Trial, were all born on our farm and the other two came to us as weanlings. So we have been working with all of them since they were young.”
SOUR CANDY (post 3), QUICK ASA HICCCUP (6, Ed Walton riding), and SILVER LYNING (7, Tony Phillips up) compete in the first Trial for Woodley.
“Sour Candy has been the most challenging but he has talent. Cory (Spataro) worked him from the gate on May 25 and we liked how the two of them got along so Cory will ride him. Quick Asa Hicccup is the last foal from the good mare Eyesa Quick and he is very similar to his big brother Twixt of Fate, who won the 2020 Ontario Bred Futurity. And Silver Lyning is our own horse and she is the first foal to race of our stakes winning mare Embrace Extravagence.”
Also in the first Trial is the regally bred HAD TO BE IVY, owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson. The bay filly is a full sister to Horse of the Year Had to Be Ivory.
In the second Trial, Woodley sends out Wincikaby’s pair of FIRSTPRIZE CHARLOTTE (post 2 with Spataro riding) and DA ZOOM (post 8 with Cassandra Jeschke up). Wincikaby bred both juveniles. “Firstprize Charlotte is a really nice filly and Da Zoom is a really cool, laid back gelding.”
The second Trial has also lured MAXIMIZE, owned by Robert Bailey and trained by Jason Pascoe. Maximize has the benefits of a start under his belt as he was a close fifth in a maiden race at Remington Park in Oklahoma on April 15. Brian Bell will ride Maximize from post position 4.
First race post time for the seven-race card at Ajax Downs Wednesday is 1:30 p.m.  Entries for the races can be found here.
Admission to the track is free and you can watch and wager on the races at Ajax or through the betting platform www.hpibet.com. Keep up to date on news and events from Ajax Downs at www.ajaxdowns.com and follow us at @AjaxDowns on social media. Races are live-streamed on the track’s website and Facebook page.
For more information on how you can become a Quarter Horse owner or join a syndicate, contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario at www.qrooi.com.