Ontario bred Snow Moose Ices the Competition in Open Derby
The grey gelding Snow Moose, with Brian Bell riding, won the $31,725 Open Derby at Ajax Downs on May 24. (New Image Media photo)
AJAX DOWNS, MAY 24, 2023 – Milena Kwiecien’s SNOW MOOSE, bred in Ontario, charged to victory in the first running of the $31,725 Open Derby at Ajax Downs on May 24 on a sunny and breezy afternoon, the third racing day of the 2023 Quarter Horse season. Sent off as the 3 to 1 second choice in the Open Derby final, Snow Moose, with jockey Brian Bell, was quick out of the gate at the start of the 300-yard dash from his rail post position and held off the closing runs by Valiant Chick Insnow and previously undefeated Sour Candy, the race favorite to win by a neck in 15.80i6, good for an 82 speed index.
Snow Moose, a 3-year-old son of Seperate Interest from the mare Favorite Pearl, an Ajax Downs winner, had finished second by a neck in one of two Trials for the Open Derby on May 10 to One Fabulous Wave, who was a late scratch at the gate for the final on Wednesday. Snow Moose, who ended the 2022 season with a big win in the prestigious Alec Picov Futurity, was one of three winners on the May 24 card for trainer Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, ON.
“After the first few races I was concerned about the inside maybe being a bit heavy,” said Bell, about Snow Moose drawing post position one, “But sure enough he prevailed.”
It was the second career win in seven starts for Snow Moose who has earned over $60,000.
*Also on Wednesday, young trainer Mitchell Daniel saddled his first winner as PRITTY COLD won the first race, a 250-yard speed index dash with jockey Rachael Isaacs riding. Daniel had been working for trainer Pascoe and branched out on his own this year. Pritty Cold, a winner last season as a 2-year-old, is also the first horse owned by Tim Wetlaufer.
*Racing continues at Ajax Downs next Wednesday, May 31 with a first race post time of 1:30 p.m. Don’t forget to check out all our race dates and special events at www.ajaxdowns.com
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