Two-Time Canadian Champion Had To Be Ivory Breaks Own Track Record In QROOI Distance Series
Clive Cohen / New Image Media
Had To Be Ivory, under jockey Cory Spataro, winning the $16,005(US) QROOI Distance Series #2 Stakes at Ajax Downs Wednesday.


AJAX, ONT—AUGUST 11, 2021—Hard-knocking two-time AQHA Racing Canadian Champion Had To Be Ivory raced to his 15th career win on Wednesday when he defeated five of the best Ontario-based older Quarter Horses by 2-½ lengths in the $16,005(US) QROOI Distance Series #2 Stakes at Ajax Downs.

Ridden by jockey Cory Spataro, the 6-year-old son of multiple stakes sire IVORY JAMES set a new Ajax Downs 400 yard track record in :19.443 seconds, equaling a 111 speed index with a 21 mph tailwind. Had To Be Ivory held the previous record of :19.600 seconds, set in the Ontario Bred Maturity on September 1, 2019.

"As soon as gates opened he flew out of there," Spataro said after the win. "I just had my head down and tuned everything out half expecting them to start coming, the last 100 yards I looked at tote board and saw he was two or three in front".

Bryn Robertson conditions Had To Be Ivory for owner-breeder's Carol and Jaime Robertson. Out of the stakes winning Hadtobenuts mare Had To Be Fandago.

"I was worried about the one hole, sometimes it's a little heavier but today he seemed to handle it like he was flying over it," Bryn Roberson said.

Had To Ivory has compiled a (20) 15-3-1 record and the Distance Series #2 winner's purse valued at $7,114(US) boosted his lifetime earnings mark to $198,370.

Had To Be Ivory was second in the Picov Maturity two races back, a race he had won in 2020 and 2019. He also won the Ajax Juvenile Challenge, Alex Picov Memorial Futurity, Ajax Downs Bonus Derby Challenge and Picov Derby.

Countrys Comin Bac was second best in the Distance Series #2 to earn $3,577(US) for owner Ralph Person. Don Reid conditions the 8-year-old stakes winning son of champion Countrys Chick Man from the Splash Bac mare Bac To Center. Jockey Cassandra Jeschke had the riding call aboard the $176,729 money earner. Marko Naterer is the breeder.

A head back in third, Spy For The Senate picked up $1,779(US) for owner Milena Kwiecien. Jason Pascoe trains the multiple stakes winning Louisiana Senator horse. Bred in Oklahoma, by Mary Hainline, the bay horse is out of Corona Spy by Corona Cartel. Ismael Mosqueira was riding the 5-year-old earner of $125,532.

Country Boy 123, Chicksdigsmymoneybags and Easy Street completed the field.