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First Down Dash is First Sire of the All American

September 1, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Amarillo, Texas, September 3, 2006 - If any doubts about First Down Dash’s influence on American Quarter Horse racing remain, check out the field for Monday’s $1.9 million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs. All of the 10 starters in the 440-yard race have the stallion in their pedigree, which the crew at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, California, recognizes as a tremendous accomplishment.

“It means he is what he is,” said farm owner and AQHA Past President Frank “Scoop” Vessels about the 22-year-old son of Dash For Cash. “He’s simply the best sire in the history of Quarter Horse racing.”

In the pedigree rundown for this year’s All American starters:
First Down Dash is the sire of First Freeze, My First Passion and fastest qualifier No Secrets Here.
He is the broodmare sire of Genuine Botticelli, Mightys First Call and Separate Bet.
His son Stoli sired Dont Let Down.
His son Dash Ta Fame sired Gun Battle.
His son Okey Dokey Dale sired Okey Dokey Fantasy.
Remember Me Rose is by Corona Cartel, whose sire, Holland Ease, is a son of First Down Dash.

With 17 crops to race, First Down Dash also is the all-time leading sire of American Quarter Horses by progeny earnings with more than $55.5 million. He has sired a record five winners of the All American: Royal Quick Dash (1991), Dash Thru Traffic (1992), A Classic Dash (1993), Corona Cash (1997) and Falling In Loveagain (1998). Royal Quick Dash is the sire of 2002 All American winner AB What A Runner.

Vessels said First Down Dash’s offspring possess the uncommon intelligence and athletic ability of their sire.

“You can breed him to those Beduino (TB) mares that might be a little hot-blooded, and yet (the offspring) are calm, they want to learn, they want to do good for you,” Vessels said. “Anybody can train them. That’s not the case with a lot of horses. I think that’s one reason he’s done so well for so many people.”

First Down Dash raced for Vessels Stallion Farm, which also has had its share of All American success as an owner and breeder. The farm won the race in 1973 with Timeto Thinkrich, and bred Royal Quick Dash and Dash Thru Traffic. This year, Vessels is represented by three starters as the co-breeder of My First Passion with Martha Wells; the breeder of No Secrets Here, whom Vessels co-owns with Benny Rosset; and as the breeder of Separate Bet.

Despite his impact on the All American Futurity, First Down Dash never raced at Ruidoso Downs. At 2 in 1986, the California-based runner won five of six starts, including the Kindergarten Futurity (G1) and Dash For Cash Futurity (G1). He ended his career in 1987 with a 1 ½-length victory in the Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos and was named the year’s World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse. First Down Dash won 13 of 15 races and earned $857,256.

“To be able to see him every day is really special,” Vessels said. “Both Bonnie (Vessels’s wife) and I try very hard not to miss a time when we can stop by and see him. He’s very much a member of the family.”

The All American Futurity’s estimated post time is 4:40 p.m. MDT on Labor Day. TVG Network will have live coverage beginning at 4 p.m. MDT. Live coverage can also be seen on Fox New York, Turner South and FSN Prime Ticket. Delayed coverage will air on ESPN2’s “Wire To Wire” weekly highlight show on September 5 at 2 p.m. MDT.

In addition, the American Quarter Horse Racing Journal is providing daily updates of the contenders and their connections at Complete coverage of the 2006 All American winner will be in the October issue. Subscribe online or call (800) 291-7323.