AJAX DOWNS, OCTOBER 26, 2022
- The towering 2-year-old grey gelding Snow Moose picked a good time to win his maiden race as Milena Kwiecien's Ontario bred captured the $93,870 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, the richest race for Quarter Horses in Canada.
On a rainy afternoon which left the main track sloppy by Futurity post time, Snow Moose and jockey Brian Bell charged down the middle of the track to win the 400-yard Futurity as the third choice at 7-2 in the field of eight, winning by a neck over favoured Valiant Chick Insnow.
Owned by Burlington's Milena Kwiecien, Ajax Downs' leading owner, and trained by leading conditioner Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, Snow Moose was winning for the first time in his fifth career race, following a strong second-place finish to Valiant Chick InSnow in a Trial for the Futurity on October 5.
Valiant Chick InSnow, also owned by Kwiecien and trained by Pascoe, was second by a neck over Belinda Taggart's Maximize with A Shades of Cold a half-length back in third.
Snow Moose, who began his career in Oklahoma and New Mexico in the summer, had post position eight in the eight-horse field and was bet down to 7 to 2 for the Futurity paid $9.80 to win. Snow Moose, a grey son of Separate Interest - Favorite Pearl ran the distance in 20.099 for an impressive 93 speed index.
"I was pretty confident in my horse," said Bell, 40, who was winning his 749th career race. "As big as he is, it was not too bad and on the outside, the track was pretty good. I thought that we had won fairly easily at first but didn't realize Milena's other horse [Valiant Chick InSnow] was that close on the inside."
Kwiecien has built up a successful Quarter Horse breeding program in just a few years and raced both Snow Moose's dam, Favorite Pearl, and the dam of Valiant Chick Insnow, A J Chick in 15 at Ajax Downs.
"It's an incredible feeling to have bred such a nice horse," said Kwiecien. "He's such a big horse and I knew he would have to run them down."
Snow Moose collected $37,549 for his first career win from five races, boosting his career earnings to over $41,000.
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