It was the first ever pari-mutuel 'hook' race to be held at the track.
AJAX DOWNS, JULY 25, 2022 - Ajax Downs' 2021 Horse of the Year FIRST COLD WAVE seeks his first stakes victory of the 2022 season in Wednesday's $51,480 Ontario Bred Derby for 3-year-old Quarter Horses at 300-yards. The Derby is race 8 on the July 27 card which has a first race post time of 1:30 p.m.
A son of Ontario stallion Cold Hard Dash, First Cold Wave won four of seven races in his championship year and picked up his first victory as a sophomore on June 29 when he defeated older horses in a tough speed index dash. With regular rider Brian Bell on board, First Cold Wave led throughout that 350 yard dash and defeated 9-year-old veteran Sugarmans Delight by a scant nose. His time of 17.70 translated into a career best 98 speed index.
As a strong frame of reference, Sugarmans Delight came right back on July 17 to win the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity, his first stakes win.
First Cold Wave is owned by his breeder Robert Bailey. The gelding is one of four in the field for leading trainer Jason Pascoe who will also send out Milena Kwiecien's Blazin Magician and Kold Kinda Star and Belinda Taggart's Keepr of the Stars.
Trainer Scott Reid has a powerful threesome entered to challenge the favourite including First Cold Wave's arch rival NIGHT LEADER. Owned by John Wilson, Night Leader defeated his rival in the Ontario Bred Futurity last summer and then finished second to him in the Ontario Sires Futurity. Night Leader, who will be ridden by Carly Furlonger, has won both of his starts in 2022. Wilson also owns the improving filly OH MY GAWD, who was recently third in the tough $53,000 Princess Derby. The third Reid starter is RAPTER, who is owned by the trainer and Colleen McCracken.
Craig Spada owns and trains the eighth runner in the field, the filly MAGIC FLARE, who will be ridden by Helen Vanek.
The 11th running of the Ontario Bred Derby is the final leg of the popular Pick 5 wager which begins on race 4.
You can watch and wager on the Ajax Downs card trackside and admission is always free. The races are also available on www.hpibet.com and are live-streamed on the Ajax Downs Facebook page. Follow Quarter Horse racing from Ajax Downs on social media and at www.ajaxdowns.com.
FIELD FOR THE 11TH ONTARIO BRED DERBY
300 yards, race 8, July 27, post time 4:39 p.m.
1 BLAZIN MAGICIAN J B Botello J Pascoe 4-1
2 KOLD KINDA STAR I Mosquiera J Pascoe 8-1
3 RAPTER C Jeschke S Reid 7-2
4 KEEPR OF THE STARS E Walton J Pascoe 3-1
5 NIGHT LEADER C Furlonger S Reid 2-1
6 OH MY GAWD R Isaacs 6-1
7 FIRST COLD WAVE B Bell J Pascoe 3-2
PHOTO: The 2021 Horse of the Year First Cold Wave (inside) defeated eventual stakes winner Sugarmans Delight on June 29 and headlines this week's Ontario Bred Derby (New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo)