Seven-second Gridiron Gallop takes centre stage Wednesday at Ajax Downs


Published October 18, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Stakes winners Fiesty Icon and Maryland Magic will try something new at Ajax Downs Wednesday when they try to conquer the unique ‘Gridiron Gallop’, a 110-yard sprint that will take less than seven seconds to run.

The Gridiron Gallop, named for the distance of a Canadian football field, is popular with racing fans as the start is virtually in front of the crowd. It will be race eight on a 10-race Quarter Horse card that has a first race post time of 12:55 p.m.

There are just three racing dates remaining in the 2021 Ajax Downs season which ends November 3.

Wednesday’s feature race is for horses who have never won at the 110-yard distance and only four horses in the eight-horse field have even attempted the short sprint.

Rick Kennedy’s veteran Fiesty Icon, the 2020 Horse of the Year, won the Ontario Sires Stakes Maturity on Aug. 18 at 330 yards and was recently fourth in the 400-yard Ontario Bred Maturity.  The nine-year-old is well known for his sharp starts from the gate. Regular rider Tony Phillips will be aboard Fiesty Icon and they will break from post position eight.

Maryland Magic, a two-way star and three-time winner in 2021, won the 250-yard Sprint Series Leg 2 on September 8 and this black stallion is in razor-sharp form for owner Milena Kwiecien. Ismael Mosquiera is named to ride.

Kwiecien, the meet’s leading owner, also has her fast little mare AJ Chick in the field and she has three top three placings in six tries at the Gridiron distance.

Christine Tavares’ Sugarmans Delight, who starts from post one came within a neck of winning at 110-yards in his second start of this year on July 21. The eight-year-old comes off one of the fastest wins of his career when he took an optional claiming race at 330 yards on Oct. 6 with a 101-speed index.

To attend the races on Oct. 20, sign up at You can also watch a live stream of the Ajax Downs races on our Facebook page or YouTube channel and wager through Two Pick 4 wagers will be offered on the card.

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