On the morning of Father’s Day, Leslie Freedman visited the grave of her late father Kenneth and placed a painted rock at his resting place.
On the smooth stone was the name Eye Am the Eagle, her first racehorse, with a horseshoe and a heart. She was on her way to Ajax Downs to see her horse race and she wanted to share her first racehorse experience with her Dad.
“I have been going to the horse races since I was four-years-old with my dad,” said Leslie. “We went to Greenwood and Woodbine. He would show me the program and how to read and analyze the stats. I loved these times with him.”
Eye Am the Eagle, offered for purchase in shares through the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario’s First Line Racing Syndicate, was making his fourth start of the Ajax season after being purchased in January of this year for $6,500 at the Heritage Place Winter Sale in Oklahoma by syndicate trainer Bob Broadstock and wife Marie.
“My dad passed away in 2006 and I thought it would be a great way to keep me connected with him and my fond memories of him by owning a share of a horse.”
When she saw an ad for the syndicate in the Ajax Home Week booklet last year, she contacted Monique McNamara at the QROOI and signed up.
After two narrow losses and a troubled trip on May 27, Eye Am the Eagle flew to victory in a $14,400 maiden race on June 17 with Ramiro Castillo board, posting an 89 Speed Index for his time of :17.06 for 330 yards.
“It was very exciting, it is a great day and it’s Father’s Day,” said Leslie.
This is the second horse for First Line Syndicate which won three races with the filly CR Party With Corona for the past two season before selling her at the same sale where ‘Eagle’ was purchased.
“We’ve made a lot of new friend and it gets you into horse racing to see what it’s like and what you need to know,” said syndicate member Jennifer, who traveled to Oklahoma in January to attend the sale.
“Bob and Marie have been great. They let us come to the farm and see their horses and Eye Am the Eagle is big and strong and wonderful.”
The big bay three-year-old son of One Dashing Eagle – Imagine It by Strawfly Special has won over $10,000 this season.
Watch Eye Am the Eagle win on June 17 and the post race interview:
More from Ajax Downs, June 17:
HAD TO BE IVORY made his much anticipated return to the races in the $22,800 Bonus Challenge Derby (with funds from the AQHA) and while owners Carol and Jaime Robertson and trainer Bryun Robertson were unsure of what to expect from the unbeaten 2-year-old of 2017, they were blow away by the tall gelding’s performance.
Ridden by Tony Phillips, Had to Be Ivory reeled in the very good Carneros to win the 300-yard dash in :15.20 for a lofty 107 speed index. The homebred son of Ivory James – Had to be Fandango is now 6 for 6 in his career and a match-up with older horse stars, including Country Boy 123, will be coming soon.
The QROOI DISTANCE SERIES and SPRINT SERIES got underway on June 17 with the opening leg of each set of three races.
COUNTRY BOY 123, Horse of the Year for the last 2 seasons, remained undefeated with his win in the Distance Series, and he put up a 106 speed index while holding off Robertson’s One Famous Glass, his arch rival.
And the incredible ONE KOOL WAVE won the 110-yard Gridiron Gallop and first leg of the Sprint series by an easy half a length with a 109 speed index, just missing his own track record of 6.83 with a time of 6.84.
It was the 25th career win for 10-year-old One Kool Wave who was bred by Robert Bailey and is still owned by him and Don and Kim Reid’s DK Training Centre.
Don Reid won 2 other races on the card with horses owned in part by Richard Wincikaby. HOPE RAMBLES ON won for the second straight ime in a speed index race and CORONAS CHROME won a starter allowance for his 2nd win in his last 3 races. Both horses were ridden by Brian Bell.
Christine and Joe Tavares continued their roll with 2 winners on the card. KOOL DASHIN BABE won a speed index race for her first win in three starts this year. Yournotthebossofme, a homebred by Junos Back, won an allowance race for Ontario sired horses in his first win in three races in 2018. Chelsey Willick rode both winners for the Tavares team.
DON EVANS, who stables his horses at FORT ERIE since Hazel Park has closed, won his first race at Ajax Downs when Fishin Feature upset a maiden race, race 4, with Neil Husbands riding. Fishin Feature, leased by Terrie Kisielewski, as making his 2nd start of the meeting and it was the 7th starter for Evans at Ajax.
QROOI Points Leaders
Jockeys Pts Earnings Mounts 1st 2nd 3rd
Bell 116 $123,291.00 43 14 8 6
Willick 108 $108,461.00 50 8 12 6
Spataro 89 $115,526.00 40 11 7 6
Walton 75 $74,407.00 34 9 2 3
Castillo 68 $69,540.00 48 3 9 7
Jeschke 60 $60,151.00 37 4 3 9
Tavares 108 $111,665.00 52 9 12 6
Pascoe 82 $73,001.00 31 8 3 5
Reid 58 $65,818.00 20 8 2 3
Watson 44 $53,799.00 24 4 6 1
Robertson 43 $59,559.00 12 4 2 3
Broadstock 43 $37,324.00 28 2 6 4
Reid, Scott 41 $44,265.00 23 4 1 5
Tavares, Christine 83 $87,296.00 38 18 9 8 3
Kwiecien, Milena 73 $66,119.00 28 13 7 3 4
Big Dog Racing 37 $30,248.00 13 6 2 5 3
Bogar, James 36 $32,325.00 21 11 2 3 7
Picov Cattle Co 29 $30,485.00 24 13 4 4
Broadstock, Marie 28 $23,664.00 16 7 1 4 3
Wincikaby, Richard/DK 27 $31,090.00 14 9 3 2 2
CANADIANS KWIECIEN, PASCOE AND LEHTINEN horses qualify for Canterbury Stake
Ontario bred SHES SIZZLING, bred and owned by Erik and Joyce Lehtinen of Uxbridge, ON won one f three trials for the July 8 Mystic Lake Northland Futurity at Cantervury Park worth $146,400 (US).
The daughter of Sizzlin Cartel – Shenandoah Special was one of three horses to qualify for the final for trainer Jason Pascoe, who was right back at Ajax Downs the day after the Mystic Lake trials in Minnesota.
Mildred Didrickson, named after an incredible American athlete, posted a 99 speed index in her trial win and was making her first start for Kwiecien. Chicken Lips, also owned by Kwiecien, qualified as well.
Horse Sex Sire-Dam, Dam Sire Time Owner Breeder Trainer Jockey
Mildred Didrickson f. Desirio – Valdarama by Country Quick Dash :17.782 Milena Kwiecien Yearsley,Nancy/ J Garvan Kelly (OK) Jason Pacoe Nakia Ramirez
Maghelene f. One Famous Eagle – Belle Helene by Valiant Hero :17.794 Thomas J. Scheckel JJ Cool LLC (OK) Jason Olmstead Cristian R Esqueda
Miss Energy P f. Pyc Paint Your Wagon – First Down Energy by First Down Dash :17.801 Michael A. Pohl Bielau Oaks (TX) Stacy Charette-Hill Jorge Torres
Shes Sizzling f. Sizzlin Cartel – Shenandoah Special by Eyesa Special :17.895 Joyce & Erik Lehtinen Joyce And/Or Erik Lehtinen (ONT) Jason Pascoe Nakia Ramirez
Dashin My Lady f. Inseperable – My Miracle Lady by Dean Miracle :18.033 Kendrix Brothers Kendrix Brothers (OK) Edward Ross Hardy Berkley R Packer
Bhr Flashing Effort c. Cs Flashlight – Bhr Missy Special by Shake It Special :18.034 Broken Heart Ranch Broken Heart Ranch (SD) Robert Don Johnson Chase Clark
Jess Doin Time f. Apollitical Jess – Lenas Rare Lady by Rare Form :18.035 Tom Pouliot Tom Pouliot (MN) Jason Olmstead Cristian R Esqueda
Cashair g. Dashair – Southern Fast Cash by Heza Fast Man :18.044 Leo Butell Leo Butell (KS) Jason Olmstead Cristian R Esqueda
Chicken Lips g. Jess Lips – Chicks A Flying by Chicks Beduino :18.046 Milena Kwiecien Valeriano Racing Stables LLC (OK) Jason Pascoe Nakia Ramirez
Devins Project g. Oak Tree Special – Fantastic Follies by Pyc Paint Your Wagon :18.059 Kenneth Ruthardt Kenneth Ruthardt (OK) Shawna Manriquez Tanner Thedford
Trial Notes: Mildred Didrickson defeated Dashin My Lady by 1-1/2 lengths in the second of five trials to post the fastest qualifying time.