Star-studded field for Picov Maturity race at Ajax Downs


Published May 31, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Had To Be Ivory makes his 2022 debut in a star-studded Picov Maturity at Ajax Downs (New Image Media photo)

One of the strongest fields in the rich history of Ajax Downs will line up Wednesday for the ninth running of the $29,880 Picov Maturity.

Two of the favourites are expected to be 2019 Horse of the Year Had to be Ivory, owned by Carol and Jaime Robertson and trained by Bryn Robertson, and Country Boy 123, a three-time winner of the award.

Country Boy, owned and trained by Ruth Barbour, was pestered by a minor ailment last year and was winless in five starts, though he did end the season strong with a fourth-place finish in the Indiana Championships last fall. The 9 year-old gelding is also the richest Canadian-based Quarter-Horse in history with more than $500,000 in career earnings.

Both 7 year-old Had to Be Ivory, which won three of six races in 2021 including the Ontario Bred Maturity, and Country Boy have won this 300-yard race twice. Josh Scott will ride Had to be Ivory while Ed Walton will be aboard Country Boy 123.

The two favourites will be challenged by a pair of contenders from the Milena Kwiecien and Jason Pascoe team: Maryland Magic, winner of last year’s Alex Picov Championship and already a winner in 2022, and Carneros, winner of the Sprint Series #1 on May 22.

Other top older horses in the field include the ultra-consistent Countrys Comin Bac, a 14-time winner, the filly Streakinlilwagon, winner of the 2021 Picov Derby, and Jessaprimadonna, winner of the 2021 Princess Derby. Fury Dot Com and Countryfried Chicken complete the line-up.

Races two and three on Wednesday are 350-yard $50,000 Trials for the Princess Derby. The ten fastest qualifiers will advance to the June 19 final. Stakes placed Eye Live For Candy and recent winner Oh My Gawd should contend in the first Trial. The second Trial is headed by two fillies with impressive wins already this season: Dawns Early Light and Scarletts Cartel.

In addition, Ajax Downs’ 2021 Horse of the Year First Cold Wave, the first two year-old to win the award, makes his local return in the day’s sixth race, an allowance race at 300-yards.

First race post time on Wednesday is 1:30 p.m. You can watch and wager on the exciting day of racing trackside at Ajax Downs or on The races are live-streamed at


$29,880, 300 yards, post time 4:39 p.m. ET

Post horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1. STREAKINLILWAGON  J B Botello    J Pascoe 10-1
2. MARYLAND MAGIC      I Mosquiera  J Pascoe 10-1
3. COUNTRYS COMIN BAC C Jeschke  D Reid 4-1
4. COUNTRY BOY 123      E Walton       R Barbour 7-2
5. FURY DOT COM           R Isaacs        P Burne 12-1
6. JESSAPRIMADONNA   H Vanek        C Spada 8-1
7. HAD TO BE IVORY      J Scott            B Robertson 3-1
8. CARNEROS                 B Bell             J Pascoe 8-1

With files from Jennifer Morrison


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