Q-Racing Blog: Playing Together

Q-Racing Blog: Playing Together

It’s all in the family at Ajax Downs.

Maryland Magic. PHOTO: Clive Cohen/New Image Media

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By Ty Wyant

Horse racing is one of those sports that when you think you have seen it all, something new happens. Such was the case at Ajax Downs located east of Toronto, Ontario, last year.

Horses are usually separated in races by age – 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and then 4-year-old and older horses. But in this case, a pair of horses were separated by a generation but together in sport: A stallion and his daughter both competed at the track during the same meet. Maryland Magic raced as an 8-year-old while his daughter Magic Flare was a 3-year-old. Not only did they compete together, but they both earned a 2022 AQHA Regional High-Point Award for their respective divisions in Canada.

This kind of thing has happened in other sports. In baseball, Bobby and son Barry Bonds, along with Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr., not only played at the same time, they even played on the same teams for a while.

Baseball careers can have longevity and this, obviously, helps increase the chances of a parent and child competing at the same time. In horse racing, most jurisdictions set the age at which a horse must retire. It varies, but usually it is in the 10- to 12-year-old range. 

Milena Kwiecien’s Maryland Magic was purchased in 2017 and moved from racing in Oklahoma and Texas to standing at her farm in Burlington, Ontario, and racing at Ajax Downs. He was the 2022 High-Point Stallion in Canada. He is compiling a consistent race record with 16 wins, nine seconds and 10 thirds with $142,850 in earning from 52 starts. 

His stakes win to date include the 2021 Alex Picov Memorial Championship Stakes and QROOI Sprint Series 3 Stakes .

He breeds mares in February and March and then heads to the track.

 “We bred him as a 4-year-old,” Kwiecien said. “He’s a big, black horse, standing about 16.1 (hands). He’s very solid in bone and feet.

 “The best thing about him is his disposition. He’s sound in his mind. He looks like he’s sleepy in the paddock. He’s like a gelding. The jockeys love him.”

Maryland Magic, a son of PYC Paint Your Wagon, has had five starters with four winners and an average earnings per starter of $27,881.

Craig Spada’s Magic Flare was the High-Point 3-Year-Old Filly in Canada and has four wins, three seconds and two thirds with $45,052 in earnings from 18 starts. Kwiecien said they may try the filly at barrel racing this year.

Magic Flare was claimed for $10,000 while making her debut at Remington Park. It seems that at least one person at Remington Park realized her value, enhanced by the awards program back in Canada. He claimed the filly and then sold her to Craig Spada, an owner racing at Ajax Downs.

 “She’s huge, absolutely massive and beautiful and correct,” Kwiecien said.

 “With the daughter and sire racing at the same time is special. I’ve only seen it at Ajax.”

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter and on Instagram, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.