Live horse racing – with fans in attendance – returns to Ajax Downs tomorrow


Published July 6, 2021 at 1:05 pm


On June 16, Ajax Downs opened its doors to let the horses in. Tomorrow, fans will get in too.

The quarter-horse track will finally get to let racing fans in to watch the live action Wednesday, under the Province’s Step 2 to re-opening plan.

Capacity is capped at 25 per cent under the regulations, however, so fans will have to pre-register at to qualify.

Those who register to attend on July 7 will be treated to two stakes events including the $30,600 Picov Maturity for 4-year-olds and up at 300 yards.

Had To Be Ivory will be looking for a three-peat in this event, though this will be only his second start since his 2020 Maturity victory for owner and breeders Carol and Jaime Robertson and trainer Bryn Robertson. The 2019 Horse of the Year had been away from the races for more than 11 months when he ran June 23 in an allowance event, finishing a close third with a strong finish.

“I thought he ran huge that day,” said jockey Cory Spataro. “He hadn’t seen the starting gate in a year and to come out and run a 98 (speed index) in his first race back, we were all pleased.”

Had to be Ivory, a winner of 13 of 17 races, will break from post position one in the field of seven and is second choice in the early line at 4-1. Lining up beside him is Milena Kwiecien’s Maryland Magic (5-1), who was second by a neck to Had to Be Ivory in last year’s Maturity and was an easy winner of his comeback race June 23.

Country’s Coming Bac, who had a super return to racing when second by a nose in an allowance race, (ahead of Had to Be Ivory), is the early favourite at 3-1.

The Picov Maturity is race six on July 7. Race four is the first leg of the $20,320 QROOI Distance Series.

First race post time is 1:30 p.m.

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