Sour Candy earns sweet success in Picov Derby at Ajax Downs

Published September 14, 2023 at 9:35 am

Jockey Rachael Isaacs aboard Sugar n Pride winning the OSS Futurity - New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo

Trainer Lauren Spada and jockey Rachel Isaacs each won the first stakes races of their young careers at Ajax Downs Wednesday.

Spada, 21, is the trainer for Sour Candy who won a thrilling renewal of the $53,730 Norman Picov Derby by a nose over another Spada trainee, Krash On Okey. One race earlier, Isaacs, 29, rode her first stakes winner as George Coleman’s Sugar N Pride powered to a 1 1/4 length win in the $60,795 Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity for 2-year-olds.

The 10th Norman Picov Derby for 3-year-olds had a field of eight led by heavily favoured Snow Moose, the early leader of the 3-year-old division at Ajax Downs.

But it was Sour Candy, recently purchased by Craig Spada, of Ridgeway (west of Fort Erie) and Rick Crispi of Guelph, who was the winner of the biggest race for 3-year-old Quarter Horses, surging late to win the Picov Derby with Snow Moose back in third.

“I really have no words,” said an emotional Lauren Spada, whose late grandfather Peter was an avid Quarter Horse owner in the past. “Sour Candy winning and Krash On Okey coming second, it’s very emotional for me.”

Sour Candy, bred by Richard Wincikaby in Ontario, is a son of Jess Good Candy and he was second in the Ontario Bred Derby to Snow Moose before he was purchased by Crispi and Craig Spada. The gelding was placed first through disqualification in his first race for his new connections and was sent off at 9 to 2 in the Picov Derby.

Under jockey Alexis Sanchez, Sour Candy had a bit of a slow start before he quickly got into gear and caught Krash On Okey at the wire. The time for the 400-yard dash was 20.223 for a 91 speed index. It was the fourth win in six races for Sour Candy who went off as the 5 to 2 second favourite behind Snow Moose who wound up third.

Sugar n Pride, owned by George Coleman and trained by Bob Broadstock, was a 1 1/4 length winner of the OSS Futurity at 330-yards. The son of Sugarman Perry from the mare Lady Pagrana led throughout under Isaacs in a time of 17.397 for an 81 speed index.

“He is probably one of the most talented horses I have ever ridden,” said Isaacs. “He broke like a rocket and it’s just a matter of keeping him focussed.”

Sugar n Pride has two wins from four starts and he was bred by Heste Sport in King City.

Racing continues at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, September 20 with a first race post time of 12:55 p.m. For more information and events information, visit

Trainer Lauren Spada with Sour Candy and jockey Alexis Sanchez after the Picov Derby – New Image Media/Clive Cohen photo

With files from Jennifer Morrison




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