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Norman Seeking to Take Ontario Bred Derby by Storm

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Norman Seeking to Take Ontario Bred Derby by Storm

the rider news sunset two horses and a rider

"I liked him as a 2-year-old," said Bell.

AJAX DOWNS, JULY 2, 2024 - Some of Ajax Downs' top 3-year-old Quarter Horses will vie for the winner's share of the $56,880 purse in the 13th edition of the ONTARIO BRED DERBY on Wednesday, July 3. The 300-yard Derby has attracted a strong field of the 10 fastest qualifiers from two Trials held on June 12. The Derby final is race six on Wednesday and first race post time is 1:30 p.m.

GENERAL SKYWALKER, owned and bred by Marie Broadstock of Nestleton, ON, won the faster of the two Ontario Bred Derby Trials, stopping the clock in 15.64 for an 89 speed index. The Bob Broadstock-trainee was a 10 to 1 longshot winner that day, leading from start to finish under jockey Ramiro Castillo and holding on to win by a head over a fast-closing STORMINN NORMAN. 

Storminn Norman, named for the late Norman Picov, builder of the current Ajax Downs, was on a two-race winning streak heading into his Derby Trial. Unplaced in two starts as a 2-year-old, the Picov Cattle Company homebred, trained by Joe Tavares, won his 2024 opener at a whopping 17 to 1 and returned to win on May 22 at 6 to 1 with Brian Bell riding.

General Skywalker holds off a charging Storminn Norman (#3) in a Trial for the Ontario Bred Derby - New Image Media Photo

"I liked him as a 2-year-old," said Bell. "He wasn't quite getting it at the time but I thought there was talent there. He came back this year and the light bulb went on."

Third behind General Skywalker and Storminn Norman in their Trial was Hawkin the Straw, winner of the prestigious Alex Picov Futurity last fall for owner/breeders Erik and Joyce Lehtinen of Uxbridge.

The other Derby Trial was won by the lightly raced SENATOR OF MAGIC, owned and bred by Amelie Aubut of Pont-Rouge, QC and trained by Jason Pascoe. A son of Ontario stallion Maryland Magic, Senator of Magic was winning for the first time in four career races, overcoming an awkward start from the gate to win by three-quarters of a length in 15.89 for an 81 speed index. Christian Benitez will ride the colt for the first time. The filly Pretty Magicall closed fast for second just ahead of Chasing Butterflies.

Do you have a group or company event? Call ahead to reserve the trackside VIP room to enjoy food, drink and mutuels. Parking and admission are always free at Ajax Downs. You can watch and wager on the races trackside or from the expansive simulcast room. Wagering is also available through Want to get involved in Quarter Horse ownership? Contact the QROOI at 905 - 426-7050 for details.

Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns and visit our website, for news, track programs and more information.

Ajax Downs, race 6, July 3, post time 3:45 p.m.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer
1. Pretty Magicall R. Moreno J. Pascoe 10-1
2. Chasing Butterflies  I. Mosquiera R. Kennedy 8-1
3. Wicked Wild Willie D. Benitez N. Clark 8-1
4. General Skywalker R. Castillo B Broadstock 3-1
5. Eyem Maximus C. Jeschke C. Bourgeois 15-1
6. Senator of Magic C. Benitez J. Pascoe 6-1
7. Hawkin the Straw JB Botello J Pascoe 4-1
8 Storminn Norman B. Bell J. Tavares 7-2
9. Daphnee C. Furlonger S. Reid 10-1
10 Sugar N Pride R. Isaacs B Broadstock 12-1

Source: Ajax Downs

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