First Down Dash is arguably the greatest race sire of all time. Bred by A.F. Stanley Jr. and B.F. Phillips Jr. out of the Gallant Jet mare First Prize Rose, First Down Dash continued the legacy at stud that started with his own sire, Dash For Cash. First Down Dash went on to surpass many of the all-time records set by Dash For Cash.
From 20 crops to race, First Down Dash has sired 1,163 winners, which includes 224 stakes winners.
For most of 2010, First Down Dash was on top of the leading sires of money earners list.
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 – and a record six Champion of Champions (G1) winners – Wave Carver, Ocean Runaway, Cash For Kas, The Down Side, A Ransom and Dashing Folly.
On the racetrack, First Down Dash won 13 of 15 career starts and earned $857,256. As a 3-year-old in 1987, he had a near-perfect campaign with six stakes victories, including the Grade 1 Los Alamitos and Dash For Cash derbies and the Champion of Champions. He was that year’s AQHA World Champion.
American Quarter Horse racing’s most prolific stallion died at age 26 on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2010, at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, California.
“He laid down and went to sleep peacefully. He was missing Scoop and his sunflower seeds,” said Bonnie Vessels, referring to her husband, Frank “Scoop” Vessels III, who was killed in a private-plane crash in August, 2010.
Dr. Ed Allred, the sport’s all-time leading breeder said, “First Down Dash was an amazing horse. He was a sire of sires. What an incredible and great career... he was in one word ‘amazing.’ ”
First Down Dash was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2011.
Biography updated as of March 2011.