The victory was the 19th in 25 starts for the son of Ivory James - Had to Be Fandango.
AJAX DOWNS, AUGUST 3, 2022 - Any doubt that champion HAD TO BE IVORY might have a bit of trouble shortening up to 250 yards in the August 3 feature at Ajax Downs was erased as fast as the big gelding broke from the gate. The Ontario-bred 7-year-old, owned and bred by Carol Robertson and daughter-in-law Jaime in Hillsburgh, had a very sharp start and was hand ridden to the finish by jockey Josh Scott. His time of 12.954 translated to a whopping 108 speed index.
"I thought maybe the 250 might be a bit tough for him as he prefers 400, 440 yards," said Scott. "But he just launched out of there and by that point I said, 'this will be fun'".
Trainer Bryn Robertson said he started Had to be Ivory in the shorter race as the gelding to get him sharpened up for the August 21 Ontario Bred Maturity at 400 yards. That race headlines the special Sunday card which is also the popular Family Day at Ajax Downs.
The victory was the 19th in 25 starts for the son of Ivory James - Had to Be Fandango. He has earned over $307,000 and was the 2019 Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs.
*The jockey race has tightened up at Ajax Downs at the midway mark of the 2022 season. Tony Philips won on Barry Woods' Twixt of Fate on Wednesday to join Ismael Mosquiera at the top of the standings with 10 victories. Brian Bell has nine wins and Ramiro Castillo has eight victories.
Quarter Horse racing continues Wednesday, August 10 with a 1:30 post time, and admission to the track is always free. Keep up to date on news and entries for Ajax Downs on social media and at www.ajaxdowns.com. To find out more about how you can own a Quarter Horse or join a syndicate, contact the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario at www.qrooi.com.
Video replay of Had to Be Ivory's win on August 3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ZeqgUerpI
Photo: Champion Had to Be Ivory is 3 for 3 at Ajax Downs in 2022 and won the August 3 feature under Josh Scott with a huge 108 speed index. (John Watkins photo)