Ontario bred Perrier Special and filly Streakinlilwagon Take Picov Derby Trials – By Jennifer Morrison

AJAX DOWNS, SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 – PERRIER SPECIAL and the filly STREAKINLILWAGON won the two competitive Trials for the $50,000 Picov Derby on a sun-splashed afternoon at Ajax Downs, September 1. Not much separated the two Trial winners in terms of their final times for the 400-yard dashes for 3-year-olds Quarter Horses, setting up for an exciting Picov Derby final on September 22.
The giant gelding Perrier Special, a homebred for Erik and Joyce Lehtinen of Uxbridge, ON, was the lone Ontario bred in the second Trial and was bet down to even-money by post time. Breaking smoothly from post position three under jockey Tony Phillips, Perrier Special was soon contesting the lead and rolled to a three-quarter length win over a closing Jm Southern Express, owned and trained by Jason Pascoe with jockey Ricardo Moreno. Princess Derby winner Jessaprimadonna finished third. Perrier Special raced the distance in 20.186 for a 91 speed index. He paid $4.00 to win.
“He broke like a rocket and was on top from the get-go,’ said Phillips. “I wasn’t really expecting that from a big horse like him. He’s still learning; when he got in front it was like ‘where did everybody go’ but I just said ‘dude we gotta keep goin’. I really love that horse.”
It was the second win in three races in 2021 for Perrier Special, a son of Dominyun, and his third lifetime win from six starts.
Heavily favoured Streakinlilwagon was up to win the first Trial by half a length for GFR Equine Services of Jason Pascoe and Bryanne Langford of Pontypool. The Oklahoma bred, the top 2-year-old filly at Ajax Downs in 2020, was coming off a big win in the Canterbury Derby at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota on Aug. 11 and was 1 to 5 on the tote board. Ridden by Ismael Mosquiera, Streakinlilwagon broke well from post position four and chased leader Twixt of Fate, who had stumbled at the start. The filly made a bold bid late to catch Twixt of Fate, owned by Richard Wincikaby and ridden by Tony Phillips. Kk Blue Cartel was third with rider Cassandra Jeschke for owners Craig Spada and Doug Hart. Streakinliwagon’s time of 20.251 was good for a 90 speed index. It was her eighth career win in 13 starts.
Craig Spada, who also trains his horses, had four horses qualify for the final while Pascoe had three advance. The full list of qualifiers is below.
*Jockey Cory Spataro won four of the nine races on Wednesday to jump into the lead in the rider’s race with 18 victories over Ismael Mosquiera (16) and Ramiro Castillo (15).
Racing at Ajax Downs continues next Wednesday, Sept. 8 with the third and final leg of the Sprint Series. First race post time is 1:30 p.m. Fans can register to attend the races beginning Monday, Sept. 6 at www.ajaxdowns.com. Keep up to date on Ajax Downs on social media platforms, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, @AjaxDowns.
Video – Race 3 – Trial 1 Picov Derby – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vZtW6L67Ac
Video – Race 4 – Trial 2 Picov Derby – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omm6-u8-Fjk
PICOV DERBY; $50,000; September 22
Horse              Time  Trainer  Jockey/ Owner
1 Perrier Special           20.186 Lehtinen   Phillips Lehtinen  (Ontario Bred)
2 Streakinlilwagon        20.251 Pascoe     Mosqueira GFR Equine
3 JM Southern Express 20.305 Pascoe    Moreno GFR Equine
4 Twixt of Fate              20.314 Woodley   Phillips Wincikaby (Ontario Bred)
5 Had to be Relentless 20.399 Robertson Scott Robertson (Ontario Bred)
6 KK Blue Cartel           20.434 Spada      Jeschke Spada/Hart
7 Americas Rocket Man 20.510 Spada     Spataro Wall
8 Jessaprimadonna     20.545 Spada        Spataro Spada/Fehr
9 Rosie Perry               20.603 Spada       Jeschke Chrisman
10 SR Blue Hawk        20.614 Pascoe      Castillo Aubut