Snow Moose charges to victory in the Open Derby at Ajax Downs

Published May 25, 2023 at 10:05 am

The grey gelding Snow Moose, with Brian Bell riding, won the $31,725 Open Derby at Ajax Downs on May 24  (New Image Media photo)

Ontario-bred Snow Moose is earning a rep for coming up big in important races after charging to victory in the first running of the $31,725 Open Derby at Ajax Downs on May 24.

Running on a sunny, breezy afternoon, Milena Kwiecien’s Snow Moose, whose only other career win came in last fall’s Alex Picov Memorial Futurity – the biggest race for 2 year-olds – was quick out of the gate at the start of the 300-yard dash from his rail post position and held off the closing runs by Valiant Chick Insnow and previously undefeated and race favourite Sour Candy to win by a neck.

Snow Moose, with Brian Bell aboard, went off as the 3-1 second choice.

“After the first few races I was concerned about the inside maybe being a bit heavy,” said Bell, about Snow Moose drawing post position one, “But sure enough he prevailed.”

The 3 year-old son of Seperate Interest from the mare Favorite Pearl, an Ajax Downs winner, had finished second by a neck in one of two Trials for the Open Derby on May 10 to One Fabulous Wave, who was a late scratch at the gate for the final on Wednesday. Snow Moose was one of three winners on the May 24 card for trainer Jason Pascoe of Pontypool.

Snow Moose has now earned more than $60,000.

Also on Wednesday, young trainer Mitchell Daniel saddled his first winner as Pritty Cold won the first race, a 250-yard speed index dash with jockey Rachael Isaacs riding. Daniel had been working for trainer Pascoe and branched out on his own this year. Pritty Cold, a winner last season as a 2-year-old, is also the first horse owned by Tim Wetlaufer.

Racing continues at Ajax Downs next Wednesday, May 31 with a first race post time of 1:30 p.m.

With files from Jennifer Morrison

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