Fans flock to Ajax Downs for Sunday Racing; Carneros Takes $19,780 Sprint Series #1
Fan Appreciation day at Ajax Downs, May 22, brought out hundreds of fans to the Quarter Horse races; John Watkins photo
AJAX DOWNS MONDAY MAY 23, 2022 – Hosting its first Sunday afternoon of racing since the summer of 2019, Ajax Downs welcomed a huge crowd to the Quarter Horse races on May 22 for Fan Appreciation Day. The day began a bit rainy and cool but that did not stop racing fans from cheering on their favourite horses on the third day of the Ajax 2022 season.
The track will host one special Sunday event day per month this summer in addition to its regular racing date of Wednesday afternoons, which return on June 1.
The day’s featured race, the $19,780 first leg of the QROOI Sprint Series, resulted in an exciting finish to the 110-yard dash for older horses. One-time world record holder for the distance, CARNEROS, had a sharp start from his rail post under jockey Brian Bell and held off a charging Zoxtobeyou to win by a neck in the fast time of 6.889 for a hefty 104 speed index. Owned by Milena Kwiecien of Burlington, ON and trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, Carneros was made the even-money favourite by the shrewd betting crowd and he paid $4.40 to win. It was the 13th career win from 41 races for the 7-year-old who has earned more than $146,000.
Two-time Horse of the Year Fiesty Icon finished a half-length back in third in his first start as a 10-year-old.
Carneros and jockey Brian Bell win the featured Sprint Series #1 (New Image Media photo)
The Sprint Series is a three-race program that continues on June 29.
Jockey Cassandra Jeschke of Cobourg won two races on the day. taking the first race on Marie Broadstock and Picov Cattle Company’s Jess a Deal and the third dash aboard Nadia Marcoux and Robbin Brownhill’s Cuz Ican Jump, trained by Peggy Burne.
In fact, women riders won four of the five races as Carly Furlonger guided Oh My Gawd to victory in race two, and Helen Vanek won the fifth race on Bodhi, trained by Craig Spada. Bodhi is owned and bred by one of the world’s leading Quarter Horse stables, Lucas Racing, owned by Dan and Michelle Lucas of New Market, Maryland.
Quarter Horse racing returns on Wednesday, June 1 with the $25,000-added Picov Maturity which could lure champions Had to Be Ivory and Country Boy 123. Post time on June 1 is 1:30 p.m.
Racing and event dates plus all the Quarter Horse news are on www.ajaxdowns.com. You can follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns.
Photos below: Ralph Pearson, one of the founders of Quarter Horse racing, kisses the filly Oh My Gawd, which he bred, after her win on May 22 (New Image Media photo). Fans of all ages enjoy the Quarter Horse races and meeting A.J. (JM photo).