COUNTRY BOY 123 – HORSE OF THE YEAR 2017
First time in Ontario QH racing a HOY has repeated
For the second consecutive year, Michigan bred COUNTRY BOY 123, has been named the Quarter Hhorse of the Year by the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario, Inc. Owned by Ruth Barbour, the big, dark bay (now- 5-year-old ) won 3 stakes races in 2017, set a track record and was 2nd in a $80,000 stakes race in Indiana.
‘CB’ is readying for a 2018 campaign in Hillsburgh On.
RAMIRO CASTILLO, who came to Ontario from Alberta in 2016 and had his first season of riding in 2017, was the year’s Champion Jockey with 403 Points.
Castillo’s 185 starts resulted in 37 wins, 37 2nds and 36 thirds with purses of $435,663.
The Mexican-born rider was in attendance at the awards with wife and owner/trainer Angelle Carter.
Tony Phillips was the runner-up with 378 points from a record of 177 starts – 29 wins -34 – 30.
CHRISTINE TAVARES – 269 points – from 146 starts – 23 horses
20 wins – 31 seconds, 22 thirds
Runner-up MILENA KWICIEN 204 points = 68 starters 13 horses
CHRISTINE TAVARES – 166 points 93 starts
Runner-up: GARY AND MARLENE MCNICHOL 148 points – 72 starts
JOE TAVARES – 384 points – 232 starts, 28 wins – 43-34
Joe was winning his first Trainer title in a few years (Scott Reid, 2016; Renee Wilson, 2015 and 2014).
Runner-up JASON PASCOE 285 points
122 – 24 wins – 26-28
Jason, who currently has almost two dozen horses in training in Oklahoma, has been edging ever closer to his first training title.
Pascoe won 5 races one one afternoon of racing in 2017.
Darlene Ballis-Hunderup – 8 wins 129 points
Runner-up: Chantelle Bourgeios
79 points, 6 wins
Like so may other horsepeople at Ajax Downs, Chantelle juggles small children and her horses. She returned to training in 2017 and had a super season.
HAD TO BE IVORY – 32 POINTS
Owners/breeders: Carol and Jaime Roberston. Trainer: Bryn Robertson
B.g. Ivory James – Had to be Fandango by Hadtobenuts
HAD TO BE IVORY won most of his races in his undefeated season with startling ease. He won the Alex Picov Futurity and John Deer Juvenile Championship.
Tony Phillips was the gelding’s regular rider.
TOO MUCH WHITE – 17 points
Owner: Gary McNichol, Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeders: Gary and Marlene McNichol.
Sor. gelding by Fire Finder – Gotta Blazin Body by Chicks a Blazin
Winner of the Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity.
AJ CHICK IN 15 – 17 POINTS
ISLAND VODKA – 17 POINTS
AJ CHICK IN 15 7-1-3-1
Owner: Milena Kwicien. Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeders: Bowen, Taylor, J Smith Farm (OK)
B.f. Apollitical Jess – Pj Chick in Black by Desirio
Claimed for $10,000 from a maiden race at Remington Park in May 2017, AJ Chick in 15 promptly won her maiden and then had 3 close finishes behind eventual male juvenile champ Had to Be Ivory,
ISLAND VODKA 5-2-0-1
Owner: Milena Kwicien. Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeders: Alan and Sharon Colley (TX)
Sor. f by Triple Vodka – Pantherisland by Panther Mountain
Two-time winner Island Vodka finished her season with a 3rd place finish behind Had to Be Ivory and her stablemate A J Chick in 15 in the Alex Picov Futurity
MARYLAND MAGIC – 35 points
Owner: Milena Kwicien. Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeder: Stephen Harris (MD)
Blk.c. PYC Paint Your Wagon – Purely Un Social y All Mitey Dash
Maryland Magic was a gem of consistency for Kwicien and Pascoe in 2017 and he collected the most points for his division thanks to 4 victories. His one stakes race attempt saw him finish 3rd to stablemate LS PRINCE in the Ajax Adequan Derby Challenge after having won one of the Trial races.
Runner=up LS PRINCE – 30 points
Owner: Milena Kwicien. Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeder: Paris Wixon (TX)
B.g. 4 by Louisiana Senator – Princess SiXarun by Jess Louisiana Blue
Picov Derby and Ajax Adequan Derby winner LS Prince (nicknamed Chubby) ended his season with a good try in the Adequan Derby final at Prairie Meadows in which he finished 5th over a sloppy track.
MAKE ME BODACIOUS – 34 POINTS
Owner: Rick Crispi. Trainer: Tom Dunlap. Breeder: Ivy Lane Racing ON
B.f. Bodacious Jess – Make Us a Miracle by Dean Miracle
Gritty MAKE ME BODACIOUS marched through her conditions in 2017 for owner Rick Drispi. Ed Walton ride the Ontario bred to 2 wins and Chelsey Willick rode her in the 3rd win. All this gal’s victories came at different distances.
Runner-up GHOST PINES 28 points
Owner/breeder: Gary McNichol (ON). Trainer: Michelle Woodley
Gr.f. Fire Finder _ Quick Six Lady by Tres Seis
Won the Ontario Sires Derby by a nose over stablemate Later Tater and ended her season with a good run when 4th in the Picov Derby.
COUNTRY BOY 123 46 POINTS
Runner-up ARCTIC FAME – 41 Points
Owner: George Coleman. Trainer: Scott Reid. Breeder: Four Leaf Racing (ON)
B.g. (2010) by Dash to the Arctic – Magic to Fame by Black Moons Arising
No aged gelding or stallion in North America won more races than ARCTIC FAME. His 7 wins from 110 to 300 yards was also tied with 2 other sophomores for the most wins by an Quarter Horse in N.A. in 2017.
The gelding, ridden for the last 2 years by Cassandra Jeschke, was awarded the Legion of Merit following his 2017 season.
MS DASHIN CORONA 30 points
Owner: Marie Broadstock. Trainer: Bob Broadstock. Breeder: Jerome Bellard (La)
B.m. 2013 Coronas Leaving You – Ms Big Dashin Now, by Dashin Now
Ms Dashin Corona won the last 3 races of her 2017 season to cap the best campaign of her career. Now with 7 career wins, the consistently good mare will be back to race in 2018.
Runner-up: ROCKIN MISS KITTY 26 points
Owner: Milena Kwicien. Trainer: Jason Pascoe. Breeder: James Eakin (TX)
B.m. 2012 by Pyc Paint Your Wagon – Check Cathy by Check Him Out
A $10,000 claim from her first race of the season, Rockin Miss Kitty was a popular gal with bettors in 2017, often being bet down as a heavy favourite. Often a fiesty one in the gate, Rockin Miss Kitty only missed the top three once during the year.
SEAN SLATER was presented with the GEORGE EGERTON AWARD for a person who goes above and beyond to help fellow horsepeople. Slater was everywhere during the 2017 racing season and was always at the readty to assist people o race days.
And yours truly was surprised with the KEN MUCKLESTONE AWARD for helping with promotion of the sport of Quarter Horse racing. Named for a longtime member of the Quarter Horse industry, former QROOI president and passionate racing fan, the award was presented by Ken’s daughter Cathy, the paddock judge at Ajax Downs, and partner Rik Hudson. Thank you to Cathy and Rik and the QROOI for this incredible honor,
WEDNESDAY’S DURHAM REGION NEWS –
By Keith Gilligan
While the war of words escalates between provincial and municipal politicians, people involved in the quarter-horse racing industry are concerned and nervous about its future.
Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. (QROOI) held its annual Racing Awards Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Ajax Convention Centre, and the possible loss of the slots next to Ajax Downs was topic number 1.
Michelle Woodley, a trainer and owner whose family’s business is in Nobleton, said the announcement “adds to the already uncertainty to our business. We’re looking for a bright spot.
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