Ajax Downs has a long history of Quarter Horse Racing in Canada since 1969. The original name of ‘Picov Downs’ was changed in 2006 with the establishment of a new Slots facility and construction of a full 6-furlong oval racetrack which was completed in 2009.
Since it’s opening in 1969, Picov Downs has been host to American Quarter Horse races in Ajax, Ontario. Founded by Alexander Picov, a Russian immigrant coming to Canada in 1921, Picov Downs was built on the family’s land. Placement between a highway and a creek dictated it’s unique shape, a straightaway with a right-handed turn.
Promoting the popular Quarter Horse Racing, Alexander Picov imported many American Quarter Horses into Ontario. Under the direction of the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc., which manages the track’s meets, PIcov Downs held it’s first AQHA recognized meet in 1971, and in 1984 hosted the first Rages to Riches Futurity. During the 10th running of this race, OCEANS TEN, the 1993 Canada Champion Racing Quarter Horse, set a track record for 400 yards in a time of :19:91.
American Quarter Horses are now competing in races around the world and are in demand for showing, ranch work, rodeo, recreational riding and many other activities. AQHA is the world’s largest equine based registry, with it’s international headquarters in Amarillo Texas. Many of Canada’s top jockeys have started their careers on the old “J-track”.