All-Time Leading Racehorse Sires
All-Time Leading Racehorse Sires
Part bloodline, part training, part good ol’ determination – it takes a lot to make it to the top in American Quarter Horse racing. Over time, proven winners have linked their heritage to an elite group of Quarter racing sires, whose combined progeny have earned more than $285 million to date.
No. 1: First Down Dash, $90,123,686
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2011, First Down Dash is arguably the greatest race sire of all time.
From 32 crops to race, First Down Dash has sired 1,469 winners, which includes 259 stakes winners.
First Down Dash is the sire of a record six All American Futurity (G1) winners: Royal Quick Dash, Dash Thru Traffic, A Classic Dash, Corona Cash, Falling In Loveagain and No Secrets Here.
He is also the sire of a record six Champion of Champions (G1) winners: Wave Carver, Ocean Runaway, Cash For Kas, The Down Side, A Ransom and Dashing Folly.
His leading earner is Ocean Runaway ($1,642,498).
First Down Dash is part of a dynasty of producers. He is a leading sire of sires, with the likes of Dash Ta Fame, FDD Dynasty, Stoli, Valiant Hero and Volcom among the ranks. First Down Dash is the son of all-time leading sire Dash For Cash, and among his sons are leading sire Walk Thru Fire.
No. 2 Corona Cartel, $68,211,955
Corona Cartel’s runners have average earnings of $39,497 per starter across his career. He is the sire of 2007 world champion Blues Girl Too, who retired with earnings of $2,032,328 and remains one of the sport's leading distaffers.
From 22 crops to race, Corona Cartel is one of only four sires to break the $50 million mark in sire earnings in the sport’s history.
The son of Holland Ease out of the blue hen mare Corona Chick, Corona Cartel is also the sire of All American Futurity winner Teller Cartel and leading sire PYC Paint Your Wagon, and joined the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2021.
No. 3 Mr Jess Perry, $60,735,286
As the sport’s No. 3 all-time leading sire, Mr Jess Perry is one of only four stallions to ever break the mark of $50 million in progeny earnings.
Mr Jess Perry is also a leading broodmare sire of money earners.
Himself a champion, Mr Jess Perry has sired more than 988 winners and 158 stakes winners from just over 1,550 starters.
He is also a sire of sires, with such illustrious sons as world champion Apollitical Jess, who sits just below him on the all-time list at No. 4, as well as One Famous Eagle and Feature Mr Jess. He is the sire of All American Futurity winner Mr Piloto.
Mr Jess Perry died in 2017, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.
No. 4 Apollitical Jess, $57,576,981
This 2007 son of two champions - Mr Jess Perry and Apollitical Time - was himself the sport's world champion in 2010, and retired from the racetrack with earnings of $1,399,831.
From only 10 crops to race, he has already made a massive impact on the breed, with record year-over-year earnings pushing him up the all-time sires list. He has 586 starters from 877 winners, and is the sire of All American Futurity winners KJ Desparado, Mr Jess Jenkins and Apocalyptical Jess.
His leading earner is KJ Desparado, who currently sits at No. 2 on the list of all-time leading horses by money earned.
No. 5 Walk Thru Fire, $41,366,647
Foaled in 1997, Walk Thru Fire was a Grade 1 runner during his racing career, but his impact on the industry has come as a sire.
The stallion’s first crop hit the ground in 2003, and included champion Higher Fire ($1,314,742), which really helped launch his career into the stratosphere.
Since that time, he has sired 67 percent winners, including world champion Heza Dasha Fire ($2,240,112).