Ajax Downs Opens 55th Season of Quarter Horse Racing On Wednesday
Feel the rush of Quarter Horse racing at Ajax Downs. Opening day is Wednesday, with a first post set for 1:30 p.m. (EDT).

Clive Cohen / New Image Media
Ajax Downs Opens 55th Season of Quarter Horse Racing On Wednesday

AJAX, ONT–MAY 7, 2024–Hold on to your hats, the Quarter Horses are back! AJAX DOWNS opens its 55th racing season on Wednesday (May 8) with its first of 25 racing dates at the popular fan-friendly racetrack.

First race post time on opening day is 1:30 p.m. (EDT) and racing will be held each Wednesday except for the 'special event' Sundays each month in the summer and Thanksgiving Monday, October 14.

Fresh off yet another successful season in which wagering set new records, Ajax Downs attracts big crowds that can get up close to the horses and riders while enjoying trackside food in a picnic setting.

In 2023, the track also introduced the first 'Battle of the Breeds' race, which pitted Quarter Horses against Thoroughbreds in a dash around a turn. Azures Royalty, a Quarter Horse, won the first Battle of the Breeds and the track plans to have a couple of these races each month.

"We noticed a lot of new folks coming out last year,' said Emilio Trotta, General Manager of Ajax Downs. "We set another wagering record handle as we were up 13 percent, even with the industry-wide horse population issue. Our goal is to show the fans a good time, offer giveaways and prizes, and get them involved in the race day itself."

This year's on-track event Sundays include the popular Father's Day card on June 16, Craft Brewery Day on July 21, Family Fun Day benefitting the Lakeridge Hospital on Aug. 25, Labor Day on Sept. 1 and United Way Day on Oct.14. Companies and groups can also reserve the beautiful VIP room overlooking the finish line for meetings and events.

"We are fortunate with our track because people can get pretty close to the action," said Trotta. "You can feel the ground move as they race past you at 60-70 kilometers an hour and see the dirt flying. It's a rush."

The 2024 season begins with a big way Wednesday as the top two juvenile colts of 2023, General Skywalker and Sugar N Pride renew their rivalry in the first race of the day at 250 yards.

General Skywalker, owned by Marie Broadstock, won two of eight races last year including the Stallion Auction Futurity. He finished a close third in the biggest race of the season, the $76,000 Alex Picov Futurity in his final outing. Ramiro Castillo, second in the rider standings last year to Brian Bell, will partner General Skywalker.

Sugar N Pride defeated his rival in the $60,000 Ontario Sires Futurity in September and won two of his six races for owner George Coleman. Rachael Isaacs is the regular rider for Sugar N Pride.

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Parking and admission are always free at Ajax Downs. You can watch and wager on the races from trackside or the expansive simulcast room. Wagering is also available through which offers a 3 percent Cash Back promotion if you wager $40 on the Ajax Downs races.

Follow Ajax Downs on social media @AjaxDowns and visit our website, for news, selections, and more information.