Ontario-bred Eazy Street remained undefeated with his gritty win in the $68,300 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity Oct. 7 at Ajax Downs.
The 2-year-old and his jockey Tony Phillips overcame some bumping early in the 400-yard dash to win the 19th Futurity by half a length over a charging A LONE HAND and Brian Bell.
Owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson, the gelding raced the distance in :20.650 for a speed index of 81. It was the fourth victory in as many starts for Eazy Street who also won the Ontario-Bred Futurity in July.
Eazy Street was bred by Dr. Guylaine Paquin who raises and sells Quarter Horses at her farm in Baltimore, Ontario just north of Cobourg.
Phillips, Ajax Downs' leading rider who is in the midst of one of his best years in the saddle, said favoured Eazy Street needed to work a bit harder to win the Futurity.
"That was kind of a ping pong ball start," said Phillips. "The 2-year-olds all broke pretty even but then there was a lot of bumpity- bump and he was kind of taken a little bit by surprise.
"I screamed at him 'come on kid, let's go!' and he heard me.
He went on and did his thing and I am really happy and proud."
The Robertsons, who also campaign one of the year's top older horses Had to Be Ivory, have won 11 races from 20 starts in 2019. The purchased Eazy Street privately last year.
"I had heard Dr. Paquin had a horse for sale so we went and looked at him and we bought him and a younger half brother," said Bryn Robertson about acquiring Eazy Street. "He's a May 28 foal to next year he's going to be a big horse."
A LONE HAND, from the first group of homebred Quarter Horses for James Bogar of Cameron, ON, was half a length ahead of 55 to 1 shot Sweet Night Fever, owned by Craig Spada of Fort Erie.
Major stakes action continues at Ajax Downs Thanksgiving Monday, October 14 with the Alex Picov memorial Championship featuring another showdown between the Robertson's Had to Be Ivory and three-time Horse of the Year Country Boy 123.
Also next week, the first 100 kids at the track will receive a free pumpkin to decorate and there will be other prizes and an appearance by the headless horseman.
To follow Ajax Downs and get news and events, check out @AjaxDowns on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and visit http://www.ajaxdowns.com.
To find out how you can own a Quarter Horse or a share in one, contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. at http://www.qrooi.com.
(Photo - Happy winner's circle with top 2-year-old EAZY STREET, New Image Media)