First Cold Wave, Maryland Magic big winners on Ajax Down’s biggest day of racing


Published October 28, 2021 at 9:28 am

Brian Bell guides First Cold Wave to victory in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, the richest race on the Ajax Downs calendar

By Jennifer Morrison

On a sparkling fall afternoon at Ajax Downs the stakes action was hot, the crowd was abuzz and First Cold Wave blazed to victory on the biggest day of its 2021 Quarter Horse season.

The marquee event of the afternoon was the $115,290 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity at 400-yards for 2-year-olds, the richest Quarter Horse race in Canada, and it was the third choice in the field who hit the sweet spot at the finish to beat Eye Live for Candy by a nose,

Ontario-bred First Cold Wave, owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood, ON and trained by Ajax Downs’ leading trainer Jason Pascoe, was away well from post seven and chased longshot Blazin Magician before grabbing a short lead. In the final yards, owner Milena Kwiecien’s pair of Eye Live for Candy and SW The Redeemer closed fast but First Cold Wave, with Brian Bell aboard, held on for win.

American-bred filly Eye Live For Candy, with Ismael Mosquiera up, held second over SW The Redeemer with favoured Lethal Tres Seis, who broke slowly, grabbing fourth.

The time was 20.121 into a 17-mph headwind was good for a 93-speed index. First Cold Wave paid $12,30 to win.

“He’s just an awesome horse,” said Bell. “I saw Ismael coming at me, but this guy just jumped out a few more strides and got it done.”

First Cold Wave came into the Futurity with three wins including the Ontario Sires Futurity and had finished third in Lethal Tres Seis’s Trial win. The sorrel gelding is from the first crop of runners from his sire Cold Hard Dash.

“When this guy was born he was an interesting fellow. It took him a while to pick things up but once he did, he was good to go.”

The winner’s share of $46,117 boosted First Cold Wave’s earnings to more than $99,000.

Rafael Hernandez leaps off Maryland Magic after winning the Alex Picov Memorial Championship

Champion Woodbine jockey Rafael Hernandez made his Ajax Downs debut a winning one when he guided Maryland Magic to an upset victory in the 48th Alex Picov Memorial Championship for older horses. Hernandez, the 2020 Sovereign Award winner for Outstanding Thoroughbred Jockey in Canada, was lured by trainer Jason Pascoe to ride Keepr of the Stars in the Futurity but picked up the 7-year-old stallion Maryland Magic for the $49,340 Championship when Ricardo Moreno booked off his mounts.

Facing champion Had to Be Ivory, Maryland Magic broke sharply and fended off Countrys Comin Bac and Had to Be Ivory to win by a neck in 21.824 for the 440-yards, a 103-speed index. He paid $21.10 as the second longest shot in the field.

It was the 13th win in 43 starts for Maryland Magic, who also doubles as a stud for owner Milena Kwiecien, with his first foals racing this year.

Marie Broadstock’s All Outta Sugar, trained by Don Reid, won the $52,560 Ontario Sires Stakes Derby for 3-year-olds earlier in the day. Ridden by Ramiro Castillo, All Outta Sugar had a short lead throughout the 350-yard dash and won by half a length over James Bogar’s Bogie Wheels. A son of Sugarman Perry, All Outta Sugar ($11.50) was winning his first stakes race and his second race in his ninth career start. He raced the distance in 18.203 for an 83-speed index.

The 2021 Ajax Downs season wraps up next Wednesday, with its final card beginning at 12:55 p.m. Fans can register to attend the final day of racing by visiting Follow Ajax Downs on social media for updates and news.

Video of the full day of racing from October 27 –

Photos by Clive Cohen/New Image Media

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