On a rainy and windy afternoon at Ajax Downs
, trainer Jason Pascoe
of Pontypool, ON sent out four winners on the nine-race card to surge to the lead in the trainers’ standings with six racing dates left in the 2018 season.
The four victories brought Pascoe's total for 2018 at Ajax to 26, putting him just ahead of multiple training champion Joe Tavares (22).
In addition, Pascoe surged past his previous career best season total which was the 24 races he won at Ajax Downs in 2017.
Pascoe, who has one of the fastest growing Quarter Horse stables in the country and also races in the U.S., sent out winners for his main owner Milena Kwiecien of Burlington (AJ Chick in 15), Heste Sport, Inc. of King (Arising Miracle), Amelie Aubut of Port-Rouge, QC (Silky Senator) and another for Aubut and Bryanne Langford, Pascoe's assistant and partner (SW Hail to the King).
"I thought I had a chance to win a couple," said Pascoe. "They were ready to run but I wasn't sure about the wet track. But the track was pretty good, still pretty fast and it worked out."
Silky Senator was winning her third consecutive race at Ajax this season and she was one of three winners for jockey Cerapio Figueroa who rides Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in the U.S.
Pascoe, a former equestrian rider who saddled his first winner, Wister Trip, in 2006, has won 10 other races at American tracks this year, his first season of double-duty.
"It's really been a learning year for us. We have raced in Oklahoma, at Canterbury in Minnesota and Prairie Meadows in Iowa. It has worked out pretty well and we have met some really good people."
Pascoe is excited about the big races coming up through the final six racing dates at Ajax. He plans to enter six juveniles for the trials for the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity on Sept. 17.
The following day he is headed to Oklahoma with a number of other Ontario horsepeople to shop for yearlings at the Heritage Place Yearling Sale.
"Hopefully we can get some new owners to get into the business," said Pascoe. "We need more people in the sport."
The Sept. 10 card of nine races went off smoothly despite the inclement weather. The first Monday card of the season, following 18 Sunday cards, also realized a significant increase in off-track wagering.
Another growing stable of Quarter Horse runners in Ontario is that of James Bogar of Cameron, ON. Bogar won two races on Monday with Duncan Lake, an Ontario sired and bred mare who already has two wins this year and Later Tater, also an Ontario-bred. Barry Wood trains the Bogar runners. The stable has seven victories this season.
In addition to the trials for the $75,000 Alex Picov Futurity, the Sept. 17 card of racing also includes the final leg of the Distance Series, which is expected to lure reigning Horse of the Year Country Boy 123.
For more information please visit www.ajaxdowns.com.
Courtesy of Ajax Downs
(Photo - JASON PASCOE (shown on Sept. 2) saddled four winners at Ajax Downs on Monday, September 10 to surpass his best-ever season as a trainer. His 26 wins puts him at the top of the trainer's standings and betters his previous best of 24 wins from 2017 - Milena Kwiecien Photo)