Archive for Press Release

Snow Moose Named Ajax Downs’ 2023 Horse of the Year at Awards Ceremony

SNOW MOOSE voted 2023 Ajax Downs’ Horse of the Year at Quarter Racing Owners Banquet
355153631_766206172009730_4731640610820569703_n (1).jpg
Milena Kwiecien’s Snow Moose, top 3-year-old and Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs for 2023
AJAX DOWNS, FEBRUARY 26, 2024 – The popular grey Ontario-bred SNOW MOOSE took the highest honour, Horse of the Year, at the Quarter Racing Owners Of Ontario’s annual Awards Banquet on February 24. The awards, celebrating the best of Ajax Downs racing in 2023, were held at the Ajax Convention Centre, and a large crowd included local Ajax MP Patrice Barnes, members of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and Ontario Racing.
Owned and bred by Milena Kwiecien of Burlington, ON, and trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, Snow Moose won five of nine races as a 3-year-old in 2023 including the QROOI Derby and Ontario Bred Derby. The son of Seperate Interest from the mare Favorite Pearl won two other races, one being the Alex Picov Championship, but he was disqualified from both.  The Horse of the Year was voted on by the board of directors of the QROOI.
Snow Moose was also the year’s High Point 3-year-old with 45 QROOI points, just one more than runner-up Sour Candy, who defeated Snow Moose in the Picov Derby.
Kwiecien began racing Quarter Horses nine years ago and her Snow Pony stable was the 2023 High Point owner and leading owner by wins for the third consecutive year. Pascoe, who trains the Kwiecien horses, won his fifth straight High Point Trainer Title.
Veteran rider Brian Bell was 2023’s top jockey by QROOI points and wins and Amanda McCormack of Peterborough, won her first Owner/Trainer trophy. James Bogar of Cameron won his first High Point Breeder award as his homebreds won 18 races in 2023. Bogar raced his first Quarter Horse eight years ago and his first homebreds began racing in 2020.
Other award winners from the 2023 season included:
GENERAL SKYWALKER – High Point 2-year-old Male – Owned/bred by Marie Broadstock, tr – Bob Broadstock
PRETTY MAGICALL – High Point 2-year-old Filly – Owned by Milena Kwiecien, tr – Jason Pascoe
HAD TO BE IVY / VALIANT CHICK INSNOW (tie) – High Point 3-year-old Filly – Owners Carol and Jamie Robertson / Milena Kwiecien
FIRST COLD WAVE – High Point Aged Male – Owner/breeder Robert Bailey, tr – Jason Pascoe
SW THE TEMPEST – High Point Aged mare – Owned/trained by Chantelle Bourgeois
The 2024 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse Season is set to begin on May 8, 2024, the first of 25 race dates.
For more information on Ajax Downs racing, visit, or to learn how to get involved in owning a Quarter Horse, visit
Photos: Jockey Brian Bell accepts his Top Jockey award from QROOI’s Bob Broadstrock and Chantelle Bourgeois. And at right, Snow Moose’s owner Milena Kwiecien (turquoise) and her winning team – Photos by Jacob Cohen/New Image Media


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