Preview Racing

Former Horse of the Year Had To Be Ivory Best In QROOI Distance Series #1 at Ajax Downs
There wasn't much separating Carneros (inside) and Zoxtobeyou in the first leg of the QROOI Sprint Series on May 22 and the pair square off again in leg 2 on June 29.

Clive Cohen / New Image Media
Former Horse of the Year Had To Be Ivory Best In QROOI Distance Series #1 at Ajax Downs

AJAX, ONT–JUNE 27, 2022–A full slate of nine races, including the second leg of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario's Sprint Series, is on tap at the Quarter Horse races at Ajax Downs on Wednesday, June 29.

First race post time is 1:30 p.m. (EDT).

The $20,000 QROOI Sprint Series at 220-yards has attracted the top five finishers from the first leg of the three-race series including Carneros, who began his 2022 campaign with a win in that 110-yard dash.

Trained by Jason Pascoe, the track's leading conditioner, Carneros and jockey Brian Bell edged Ontario-bred Zoxtobeyou by a neck with multiple champion Fiesty Icon a close third over Maryland Magic and Chicksdigmymoneybags.

Carneros came back from that win to finish a strong second in the Picov Maturity on June 1, just three-quarters of a length behind champion Had to Be Ivory.

"He's been training like a machine this year," said Bell following the 7-year-old gelding's Sprint Series win on May 22. "His biggest thing has always been the gate, I have to make sure he is standing right up close to the front of it and not pulling back a bit."

Zoxtobeyou, owned and bred by Steve Hunter and trained by Janet Grice, came back from his second-place finish in the first leg of the Sprint series to win on June 19 under regular rider Lloyd DeSouza. And Ontario bred Fiesty Icon, a two-time Horse of the Year at Ajax Downs, will be making his second start of the season on Wednesday for owner and trainer Rick Kennedy. Tony Phillips rides.

The field is completed by the 3-year-old Sw The Redeemer with Ricardo Moreno riding and Mary Schrama's tough mare Night Fishn, who was competitive against the top handicap horses in 2021.

The QROOI Sprint Series-2 is race 9 on the Wednesday card which features the popular Pick 5 wager, two Pick 4's, and rolling Pick 3's.

Admission is always free at Ajax Downs and you can also watch and wager on the races at A free pocket program is available at

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