Rookie trainer set for quarter horse debut in Ajax Downs’ second race Wednesday

Published May 31, 2023 at 12:04 am

Michelle Olson (seen in May with Bodacious Tataz) will race her first Quarter Horse as an owner and trainer at Ajax Downs on May 31. (John Watkins photo)

Michelle Olson set a goal for herself a few years ago to own and train a Quarter Horse to race at Ajax Downs. The young horsewoman and former ironworker will realize that dream as she will start her 3-year-old filly Gin Xpress in race 2 on Wednesday, the fourth racing card of the 2023 Ajax Downs meeting.

“I’m super excited and naturally nervous about my first career start as a trainer and Ginny’s first-lifetime race,” said Olson, who lives in Peterborough and has trained standardbreds as well since 2021. “She has been feeling good since her last workout, but I try not to put big expectations on a first-time starter.”

Olson was horse-crazy as a child and has worked in Ontario horse racing for more than a decade. She started in the Quarter Horse business five years ago as an exercise rider and assistant trainer for her close friend, owner and trainer Amanda McCormack.

Just over a month ago Olson wrote and passed her trainer’s test at Ajax Downs.

Gin Xpress was bred by McCormack and the filly is a daughter of successful Ontario stallion Sugarman Perry and the younger half-sister of Bodacious Tataz, who McCormack is entering in the fourth race Wednesday. Brian Bell, one of Ajax Downs’ long-time leading jockeys, will be aboard Gin Xpress on Wednesday from post 6 in the 300-yard maiden race.

“I hope for a good experience [for her], a good break, and a strong, clean run,” said Olson.

First race post time for the May 31 card is 1:30 p.m.

With files from Jennifer Morrison

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