AJAX DOWNS, JULY 27, 2022
- Robert Bailey's FIRST COLD WAVE
showed why he was voted the 2021 Ajax Downs' Horse of the Year with a gritty victory in the $51.480 Ontario Bred Derby at Ajax Downs on a hot summer afternoon on July 27.
After breaking sharply under regular rider Brian Bell, First Cold Wave, trained by Jason Pascoe, was quickly in an early battle with rival Night Leader in the 300-yard dash for 3-year-olds.
Night Leader, owned by John Wilson and trained by Scott Reid, dug in under jockey Carly Furlonger, but First Cold Wave won by a neck in a time of 15.463 for a solid speed index of 92.
Another Pascoe trainee, Kold Kinda Star, owned by Milena Kwiecien, finished third and his stablemate Blazing Magician was fourth.
First Cold Wave and his team, from left to right, trainer Jason Pascoe, jockey Brian Bell, and assistant Mitch Daniel. New Image Media Photo)
Bell, who broke the son of Ontario stallion Cold Hard Dash to saddle as a yearling, has ridden First Cold Wave for all six of his career wins and was impressed with the gelding's determination in the final stages of the 11th edition of the Derby.
"The race went as good as I could have expected. He broke hard and I know Carly put us to running a little bit and I started sweating a little. But he gave me that extra stride, which made the race.
Bailey, from Oakwood, Ontario, is a longtime owner and breeder in Quarter Horse racing with partner Belinda Taggart.
"He was a bit of a character as a foal," said Bailey. "But he has shown a lot of class." Bailey and Taggart are part of the syndicate that stand Cold Hard Dash at stud in Port Perry.
The Derby win pushed First Cold Wave's career earnings to almost $140,000.
Wednesday was a big day for leading trainer Pascoe who saddled four winners on the eight-race card.
Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, August 3 with a first race post time of 1:30 p.m. Follow Quarter Horse racing from Ajax Downs on social media and keep up on race dates and events at www.ajaxdowns.com
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