First Cold Wave ices rivals in the heat in Ontario Sires Maturity at Ajax Downs

Published September 5, 2023 at 10:00 am

First Cold Wave and jockey Helen Vanek won the $40,860 Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity by a neck over favourite Sugarmans Delight at Ajax Downs on Fan Appreciation Day, Sept. 3. - New Image Media Photo

On a sizzling hot Labour Day weekend afternoon, First Cold Wave iced his competition in the 11th running of the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity at Ajax Downs.

Sent off as the 7 to 2 second favourite by a large crowd attending Fan Appreciation Day at the track, First Cold Wave and substitute rider Helen Vanek broke sharply from post position 7 and were in an early duel with favoured Sugarmans Delight, owned by Joe Tavares. The pair battled it out to the finish of the 330-yard race with First Cold Wave winning by a head in a time of 16.779 for an impressive 101 speed index.

Sugarmans Delight, fresh off two consecutive wins this summer, was a length ahead of James Bogar’s Im Aquick Corona, who landed third by a neck over the mare Night Fishn.

Vanek, who won two races on the afternoon, admitted she did not know a lot about the Jason Pascoe trainee First Cold Wave going into the Maturity.

“I have seen him race the last couple of years and I have adored him,” said Vanek. “He was definitely accelerating with me today. He’s got a lot of heart and he’s a great horse.”

Owned and bred by Robert Bailey of Oakwood in Kawartha Lakes, First Cold Wave was the 2021 Ajax Downs Horse of the Year and won the 2022 Ontario Bred Derby. A winner once in five previous races in 2023, the son of Cold Hard Dash from the mare Cassies Carver has now won eight of 21 races and earned more than $194,000.

“We just tried a couple of things with him [to change things up] today. He ran a beautiful race,” said Bailey. “He’s a lot of fun and a good boy.”

Jockey Ramiro Castillo won three races on the afternoon to draw within one victory of leading rider Brian Bell.

A racing rarity occurred earlier on the Ajax Downs card when two horses owned and trained by James Bogar of Cameron, dead-heated for first. The filly Jezzabella, ridden by Rachael Isaacs, and stablemate Bogie Wheels, with Ismael Mosquiera riding, could not be separated at the end of the 250-yard allowance race.

Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, September 13 with the finals of the Norman Picov Derby and Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity for 2-year-olds. Post time is 12:55 p.m.

Two horses owned and trained by James Bogar landed in a dead-heat for the win in race 2. Jezzabella (inside) and Bogie Wheels could not be separated by the photo finish camera – New Image Media Photo

With files from Jennifer Morrison


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