Snow Moose Best In QROOI Open Derby at Ajax Downs Thursday
Snow Moose, under jockey Brian Bell, defeating stablemate Valiant Chick Insnow (#4) and Sour Candy (#5) in the $23,496(US) QROOI Open Derby at Ajax Downs Thursday.

Clive Cohen / New Image Media
Snow Moose Best In QROOI Open Derby at Ajax Downs Thursday

AJAX, ONT–MAY 24, 2023–Snow Moose, a multiple stakes winning son of Seperate Interest, scored a nose win over stablemate Valiant Chick Insnow in a blanket-finish to the $23,496(US) QROOI Open Derby Thursday afternoon at Ajax Downs.

Under jockey Brian Bell Snow Moose broke on top then held throughout while completing the 300 yards in :15.806 seconds, equaling an 82 speed index into a 12 mph headwind. It was the second win in seven career starts for the Ontario-bred gelding. Trained by Jason Pascoe, the $9,949(US) winner's purse boosted the gray geldings total earnings to $42.709.

"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."

Milena Kwiecien is the owner-breeder of the 3-year-old out of Favorite Pearl by Favorite Cartel. Snow Moose won the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last fall at Ajax Downs. He made his career debut at Remington Park and was third in the Rainbow Futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs before returning to Canada.

His royally bred stablemate, Valiant Chick Insnow, who was also second to him in the Alex Picov Memorial Futurity last year, earned $4,474(US) today.  Another homebred for Kwiecien from the Pascoe barn, the multiple stakes-placed daughter of Valiant Hero is out of the Apollitical Jess mare Aj Chick In 15. The $41,914 earner's second dam is out of the Desiro champion filly Pj Chick In Black.

The winning connections of Snow Moose accept the QROOI Open Derby stakes tropny at Ajax Downs. © Clive Cohen

Richard Wincikaby's homebred Sour Candy was a nose back in the blanket finish to earn $3,205(US) for third. Michelle Woodley trains the stakes winning son of champion sire Jess Good Candy from the Tres Seis mare Tayter on The Top. Jockey Tony Philips had the riding call on last year's QROOI Bonus Futurity winner. The lightly raced Sour Candy has earned $19,896 in four starts.

Dam Im Relentless, Krash On Okey, Adreamtobuildakisson, Kati On Fire and A Shades Of Cold completed the field. Fastest qualifier One Fabulous Wave was scratched.

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. 

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