Archive for Press Release

Press Release

Quarter Horse Racing Industry

December 5, 2022, As you all know, a racing committee composed of several members of the QROOI have been discussing the industry here in Ontario with the goal of ensuring that our industry is positioned to attract and retain investment in Quarter Horse racing for years to come.

We all agree that our stakes program is not attracting enough entries for a variety of reasons. After extensive discussion and several meetings, the group would like to present a new proposed version of our stakes program alongside our 2022 Stakes program to our membership for your input. Click here to download the excel sheet.

No decisions have been made at this time; the new program is only an example of what a Stakes program MAY look like with the removal of the Ontario Bred series of stakes. It is now up to you to provide the committee with your thoughts on both programs; what do you like? What do you dislike? If interested, we encourage you to attend our next meeting scheduled for Saturday, December 17, at 11 am. (Please RSVP with Monique @ the QROOI office to ensure that we have adequate space)

We ask that you provide us with your input or intention to attend the meeting no later than December 12, 2022.

PRESS RELEASE – Ontario Bred Juvenile First Cold Wave Named Ajax Downs’ 2021 Horse of the Year

Ontario Bred Juvenile First Cold Wave Named Ajax Downs’ 2021 Horse of the Year
First Cold Wave won the $115,000 Alex Picov Futurity in 2021 and was named Horse of the Year by the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario (Clive Cohen photo) – By: Jennifer Morrison 
AJAX DOWNS, APRIL 25, 2021- For only the third time in Ajax Downs history, a 2-year-old has been named the track’s Quarter Horse of the Year. FIRST COLD WAVE, who is Ontario bred and sired, was voted 2021’s top horse by the board of directors of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario on April 22. 
Owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood, Ontario, First Cold Wave is the only provincially sired and bred juvenile Horse of the Year, following American bred Leanintoit (2011) and American sired/ Ont. bred One Kool Wave (2010).
The impressive-looking First Cold Wave earned 39 QROOI points in 2021, more than any other Ajax Downs starter. The sorrel-coloured gelding also collected the trophy for High Point 2-Year-Old Male horse. He is a son of young stallion Cold Hard Dash, whose first crop of foals raced in 2021. Cold Hard Dash is owned by a syndicate and stands at Iron Horse Reproduction in Port Perry.
Trained by Jason Pascoe, First Cold Wave made his Ajax Downs debut in July following a 10th place finish in his career debut at Remington Park in Oklahoma. He won his maiden in that first start locally under jockey Brian Bell and then finished a close second in the $61,000 Ontario Bred Futurity to Night Leader. First Cold Wave turned the tables on that rival, winning a Trial for the $65,000 Ontario Sires Futurity before taking the final. After a third-place finish in a Trial for the prestigious Alex Picov Futurity, First Cold Wave won a furious battle to the wire, taking the $115,000 Futurity final by a nose.
Produced from the mare Cassies Carver by Wave Carver, First Cold Wave completed his 2021 season with four wins in seven starts and earnings of $98,764 (Cdn.).
First Cold Wave recently returned to racing on April 15, finishing fourth in an allowance race at Remington Park. He is being pointed to that track’s Heritage Place Derby Trials on May 7 and should he qualify, would contest the $250,000 (US) final on May 28.
Ajax Downs racing fans will hopefully get to see the champ for the track’s big 3-year-old races this summer.
The 2022 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse season opens Wednesday, May 11 (first race post time at 1:30 p.m.). Racing will be conducted on Wednesdays, plus one Sunday a month, and there will be a special card on Thanksgiving Monday, October 10.
You can view the entire racing schedule with on-track events here
Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns (Twitter and Instagram), Facebook and at For more information on how to become an owner or partner in a Quarter Horse contact the QROOI at

Ajax Downs Horse people that work at other tracks

Attention Ajax Downs Horse people that also work at other tracks; Please be aware and check your licences to ensure you have both breeds listed on your licence. You are required to have Quarter horse as a secondary.

2022 QROOI Stakes Program

The QROOI Board is happy to announce the 2022 Stakes Program which includes a total of eighteen (18) Quarter Horse Stake Races conducted at Ajax Downs in Ontario during May through October 2022.

18 stakes headlined by $75,000 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity on October 26th 2022, our last day of racing for the season.

The 2022 Stake Races include 3 Sprint Series all with $20,000 added as well as three Distance Series concluding with a very exciting 770 yard race on October 26th 2022.

A one time Bonus Futurity Stake Race with $25,000 added, will be an exciting addition to this race season.

Quarter Horse racing will be conducted on Wednesdays and one Sunday a month and Thanksgiving Monday throughout the 25-day meet that begins on Wednesday May 11th. One Sunday a month will include special events such as Fan Appreciation Day, Father’s Day, Craft Brewery Day, Family Fun Day, United Way Day and Thanksgiving Monday, Pumpkin Day.

Initial nomination payments for stakes races begin on April 1st and nominations close on August 15th, 2022.

Please see the following link of the 2022 QROOI Stakes Program here.

Qrooi Stakes 2022

Equine benefit payments to be available to Quarter Horse Horsepeople

TORONTO, May 19, 2021 – Ontario Racing is pleased to announce that Quarter Horse horsepeople will have the opportunity to access certain purse funds that remain available under the Long-Term Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in the event that live racing at Ajax Downs is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds made available in the form of equine support payments correlate directly to Long-Term Funding Agreement purse funds that have been foregone as a result of the lockdown measures from the cancelled May race days. If live racing is still prohibited under provincial orders related to COVID-19 at the end of May, a new round of funding may be available to Quarter Horse horsepeople (subject to approvals) with new requirements for eligibility. Information pertaining to a potential benefit payment beyond May will be provided in a subsequent communication.
The aforementioned funds were already committed to the industry through the Long Term-Funding Agreement for Live Horse Racing between Ontario Racing and OLG.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Racing created a task force, as it did during the spring lockdown in 2020, to address the financial impacts to horse racing in Ontario.
“We are pleased to be in a position to offer these equine benefit payments to the Quarter Horse industry,” said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Horse Racing. “From the onset of the pandemic last spring, Ontario Racing, along with OLG, and industry representatives, have worked diligently to assist horsepeople across the province whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19.”
Eligibility Requirements
  1. Horses are currently stabled in the province of Ontario; 3 YO and older horses are in active training for the upcoming 2021 Quarter Horse season at Ajax Downs as verified by the Quarter Horse Task Force. Horses must have made a start during the 2020 racing season as verified on Equibase.  3 and 4 YO horses that did not make a start during 2020 but were in training during 2020 may apply.  Approval is at the discretion of the Quarter Horse Task Force and supporting documentation may be required.   Horses meeting this criterion must apply for eligible equine welfare payments using the attached application form.
  2. Application form:
The Quarter Horse Equine Benefit application for this payment can be found here (Application Form). The deadline to submit your application to Ontario Racing is May 28, 2021. All mailed applications must be postmarked by May 28, 2021 in order to be deemed eligible. Please email or mail completed applications to:
Attn: Karen Allen –
Ontario Racing Management
555 Rexdale Boulevard
Toronto, ON
M9W 5L2
Important Notes:
  • All payments received must be used for the care and maintenance of Quarter Horse horses.
  • Any horse receiving assistance under this program must be in the province of Ontario. Horses that are trained by an AGCO licensed Trainer who predominantly races at Ajax Downs but are not stabled in Ontario may apply. Approval is at the discretion of the Quarter Horse Task Force. Horses approved under this criterion will be required to race at Ajax Downs for the entire 2021 meet, if approved to receive funding.
  • Once racing resumes in Ontario, horses who have received benefits under this program MUST make their first start at an Ontario Quarter Horse racetrack.
  • Ontario Racing reserves the right to request additional information to ensure all criteria has been met. Those receiving benefits under the program could be subject to an audit by Ontario Racing. Failure to meet the criteria will result in all amounts being repaid to Ontario Racing.
  • All decisions are at the discretion of Ontario Racing and are ABSOLUTE and FINAL.
  • Horses are currently under the care of an AGCO licensed trainer at the time the application is submitted.