AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 24, 2022 - The richest Quarter Horse race in Canada is set for Wednesday, October 26 at Ajax Downs, closing day of the 2022 season. The 22nd running of the prestigious Alex Picov Memorial Futurity for 2-year-olds offers a purse of $93,870 and the 10 fastest qualifiers from two Trials on Oct. 5 will dash 400 yards.
The Picov Futurity is race 10 on an 11-race card with a first race post time of 12:45 p.m.
The two Trials winners, Valiant Chick Insnow, who had the slightly faster Trial time of 20.22 for a 90 speed index, and A Shades Of Colt (20.31, 88 speed index) figure to duel for favoritism.
Valiant Chick Insnow, a filly bred in Oklahoma by Ajax Downs' leaning owner Milena Kwiecien of Burlington, Ont., is undefeated in two starts in Ontario after five starts in the U.S.
A daughter of top American stallion Valiant Hero, Valiant Chick Insnow, trained by Jason Pascoe, held off the closing charge of stablemate Snow Moose and jockey Brian Bell in her Trial win. J.B. Botello will once again partner the filly and the pair drew post position four.
A Shades Of Cold, also trained by Pascoe, is the first horse bred by owner Amelie Aubut, who is from Pont Rouge, Que. The sorrel gelding won his career debut before finishing third in the Ontario Sires Futurity and second in the Bonus Futurity.
In his Trial victory, the son of Ontario stallion Cold Hard Dash, owned in part by Aubut, pulled away from Maximize and favoured Firstprize Charlotte under regular rider Ismael Mosquiera.
"What I was trying to do in the Trial was to teach him to finish strong," said Mosquiera. "He was very steady and then he really picked it up the last 200 yards."
Firstprize Charlotte, an Ontario bred for Richard Wincikaby and trained by Michelle Woodley, is the only stakes winner in the field. She won the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity on Aug. 17.
Tony Phillips, currently leading a tight race for top jockey, is confident Firstprize Charlotte can bounce back from her third-place finish in her Trial.
"It's a very tough field, but we'll have our rod and shield," said Phillips, who is popular for his rap-style interviews.
Phillips has 22 wins heading into the final race day and 241 QROOI points with Ramiro Castillo close behind with 19 wins and 228 points. Brian Bell, just two wins away from 750 career victories, has 17 wins this season and 226 points.
To add to the closing day festivities, Ontario Racing ishosting an Owner Appreciation Day Wednesday, October 26, in the VIP Lounge starting at 12:30 p.m. Owners are invited for refreshments and social gathering.
Admission to Ajax Downs is always free and trackside picnic tables are a great place to enjoy the races. You can also watch and wager on the races at www.HPIBET.com and see the live stream of the day on the Ajax Downs Facebook page.
For more information visit www.ajaxdowns.com or check us out on social media, @AjaxDowns.
FIELD FOR THE 22nd ALEX PICOV MEMORIAL FUTURITY
Oct. 26, Race 10; Purse $93,870. For Two Year Olds, 400 Yards.
|| Heza Majestic Hero
||L Spada 12/1
|| 12 / 1
|| Sw Anninilator
||J Pascoe 10/1
|| 10 /1
|| Firstprize Charlotte T
||M Woodley 6/1
|| 6 / 1
|| Valiant Chick Insnow
||J B Botello
||J Pascoe 3/1
|| 3 /1
||R S Castillo
||C McIntyre 8/1
|| 8 /1
||J Grice 15/1
|| 15 / 1
|| A Shades of Cold
||J Pascoe 4/1
|| 4 / 1
||J Pascoe 8/1
|| 8 / 1
||J Pascoe 10/1
|| 10 / 1
|| Snow Moose
||J Pascoe 7/2
|| 7 / 2
Owners: 1 - Isaak Fehr ; 2 - Milena Kwiecien ; 3 - Richard Wincikaby ; 4 - Milena Kwiecien ; 5 - Big Dog Racing Stable ; 6 - Steve Hunter ; 7 - Amelie Aubut ; 8 - Belinda Taggart ; 9 - Kiowa Creek Performance Horses ; 10 - Milena Kwiecien
Breeders: 1 - Bryon Gardner; 2 - Sherry A Wingfield; 3 - Richard Wincikaby; 4 - Milena Kwiecien; 5 - Gene Cox; 6 - Steve Hunter; 7 - Amelie Aubut; 8 - Guylaine Paquin; 9 - Kiowa Creek Perf Horses; 10 - Milena Kwiecien
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