“Fire-breathing dragon” races to stakes win in record time at Ajax Downs

Published July 22, 2021 at 3:54 pm


There is a new star at Ajax Downs and her name is Jess a Sweet Suprize, a diminutive but ultra-fast 5-year-old “fire-breathing dragon” Quarter Horse mare who crushed a top field in the $19,890 QROOI Sprint Series (2) Wednesday.

The feisty bay, who was coming off a win in the 110-yard first leg of the Sprint series on June 16 with a 94-speed index, sped to a three-quarter length win in the 220-yard second leg Wednesday in a track-record 11.747 for a whopping 108 speed index.

Ridden by Cory Spataro for owner and trainer Craig Spada, Jess a Sweet Suprize was always in command and held off Milena Kwiecien’s Carneros (who held the former track record of 11.780) for the victory, the sixth of her career. Night Fishn, another mare, finished third.

Three-time Horse of the Year Country Boy 123, the race favourite, lunged up in the air at the start of the race and finished ninth.

Jess a Sweet Surpize, the 3 to 1 second choice, paid $9.20 to win.

“She’s a fire-breathing dragon on post parade,” said Spataro. “She was out there bucking and kicking. In the starting gate, she was so focused, I was just waiting for them to hit the button and open the gates because I knew she would be out of there fast.”

Jess a Sweet Surprize is the only foal of her late dam Jess Curl My Prize and was bred in Iowa by Erin Chrisman and Pattie Marshall.

Racing at Ajax Downs continues Wednesday, July 28 with a first race post time of 1:30 p.m. Fans who would like to attend the races can register on-line at www.ajaxdowns.com.

Story written by Jennifer Morrison

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