Packed house at Ajax Downs Cheers on Shakoo Makoo, Winner of the Battle of the Breeds

Packed House for Father’s Day at Ajax Downs Cheers On Shakoo Makoo


“He’s our family horse,” said Anthony Alderson, who trains Battle of the Breeds winner Shakoo Makoo (inside of Had to Be Relentless) – New Image Media photo
AJAX DOWNS, JUNE 16, 2024 –  It was another successful Father’s Day at Ajax Downs on June 16 as a large and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed an exciting afternoon of Quarter Horse Racing, draws for prizes, a t-shirt giveaway plus the popular Battle of the Breeds race pitting Quarter Horses versus Thoroughbreds.

Fittingly, the father and son combo of Anthony and Ryan Alderson of Fort Erie, ON, captured a thrilling Battle of the Breeds with their Thoroughbred SHAKOO MAKOO, who won the 870-yard race (about half a mile) in front of a roaring crowd by a nose over the Quarter Horse Had to Be Relentless.
This was the fourth Battle of the Breeds, the third this year, and Shakoo Makoo, a son of Ontario stallion Reload, was making his first start since October but had been training at Fort Erie racetrack. Known for his quickness out of the gate, Shakoo Makoo was tentative at the start of his first outing at Ajax Downs. Under jockey Tony Phillips, the 6-year-old was a bit behind Carol and Jaime Robertson’s Had to Be Relentless and jockey Josh Scott heading into the turn but soon moved up to battle for the lead.
“He was not really sharp out of the gate so I rushed him up there a bit,” said Phillips. “Around the turn, I had Josh on my heels but Shakoo Makoo dug in and got the job done.”
After a stretch-long duel, Shakoo Makoo edged Had to Be Relentless with Azures Royalty closing for third. The time of 46.962 was a track record for the distance.
“It was a great race and Shakoo Makoo is our family horse, so it was wonderful,” said Anthony Alderson. “He didn’t get the early jump that I wanted but Tony did a great job. It’s a great Father’s Day present, and being my first time at Ajax Downs, it’s a beautiful place.”
SHAKOO MAKOO with trainer Anthony Alderson (second from right with brother Glen), jockey 
Tony Phillips and assistant Sean Slater
Shakoo Makoo has eight career wins from 21 starts and he paid $5.90 to win as the betting favourite, keying a Pick 5 payoff of $500.90.
Phillips won two races on the Father’s Day card as did 2023’s leading rider Brian Bell.
* Racing resumes at Ajax Downs on Wednesday June 26 with the exciting final of the Unclassified Stakes as well as the Stallion Auction Futurity.
Parking and admission are always free at Ajax Downs. You can watch and wager on the races trackside or from the expansive simulcast room. Wagering is also available through Do you have a group or company event? Call ahead to reserve the trackside VIP room to enjoy food, drink and mutuels. Want to get involved in Quarter Horse ownership? Contact the QROOI at 905 – 426-7050 for details.
Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns and visit our website, for news, track programs and more information.
Battle of the Breeds replay: