Hall of Fame Part IV: First Down Dash and Streakin Six

Streakin Six and First Down Dash are two of American Quarter Horse racing's best.

At the 2012 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas in March, six new inductees will join the prestigious walls of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The new inductees include Gordon Hannagan, Walter Fletcher, Bob Loomis, Indigo Illusion, Streakin La Jolla and Hollywood Dun It.

In April, America’s Horse Daily will feature biographies about the new members of the Hall of Fame. Until then, enjoy this series about the people and horses honored in 2011 by induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

First Down Dash

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 21 crops to race through the end of February, First Down Dash has sired 1,209 winners, which includes 232 stakes winners. His progeny earnings already are $76.9 million, easily the highest total of all time. Among his offspring are 35 champions, including world champions Down With Debt, Dashing Folly, Wave Carver and A Ransom, and other champions Ocean Runaway, Corona Cash, Corona Kool, FDD Dynasty, A Classic Dash, Dash Thru Traffic and Royal Quick Dash.

First Down Dash’s best year as a sire was 2006, when his runners included 16 stakes winners and earners of $6,560,242. The 2006 runners were headlined by No Secrets Here, the Vessels-bred runner who was the stallion’s sixth All American Futurity (G1) winner; Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) winner FDD Dynasty; and Champion of Champions (G1) winner and world champion Wave Carver.

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). In addition to being a top sire of sires, First Down Dash is also a perennial leading broodmare sire.

Download The Doc Bar Bloodline to learn more about this prominent sire of American Quarter Horse winners.

On the racetrack, First Down Dash won 13 of 15 career starts and earned $857,256. As a 2-year-old, he won the Grade 1 Kindergarten and Dash For Cash futurities. Then as a 3-year-old in 1987, he had a near-perfect 8-of-9 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 sire 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 upon the horse’s death. She was referring to her husband, Frank “Scoop” Vessels III, who was killed in a private plane crash in August 2010.

When First Down Dash died, Dr. Ed Allred, the sport’s all-time leading breeder, said, “First Down Dash is unquestionably the greatest stallion of all time. No horse has had the influence of the great First Down Dash. He was an amazing horse. He was a sire of sires. What an incredible and great career ... he was in one word ‘amazing.’ ”

Streakin Six

Streakin Six – that’s a name you hear a lot. When people are talking about the fastest horses on earth, sooner or later (usually sooner) Streakin Six enters the conversation.

Streakin Six was one of the top racehorses of his generation, and now, nearly 30 years after he left the track and six years after his death, he is a major influence on the top racehorses of today’s generations.

The stallion is in the pedigree of the winner of the most recent All American Futurity (G1), Ochoa, along with the runner-up finisher and three other starters in the classic race – and the four previous consecutive winners, 10 winners altogether and as sire of the 1994 winner. Streakin Six also is in the pedigree of five of the 2011 racing champions, four of the 2011 top-10 leading sires, two of the top-10 all-time leading sires, two of the 2011 top-10 leading broodmare sires and one of the top-10 all-time leading broodmare sires.

That’s just what his second-, third- and later descendants have done. Streakin Six himself is in the top-dozen all-time leading sires of racing American Quarter Horses, with progeny earnings of more than $17.3 million. The stallion has sired nearly 600 winners in 20 crops raced, including champions Sixy Chick, Six Fortunes, Sir Alibi, Dean Miracle and Sterling Sport; track-record setter and All American Futurity (G1) winner Noblesse Six ($1,125,024); and 67 other stakes winners. He also sired 32 AQHA point earners who won two performance world championships and two reserve world championships.

Streakin Six is also in the top-half dozen all-time leading broodmare sires. His daughters have produced the earners of more than $28.6 million, led by the track-record-setting champion and All American Futurity (G1) winner AB What A Runner ($1,342,389).

In other words, Streakin Six was a pretty good horse.

“To start off with, he was a heckuva racehorse,” says Dr. Glenn Blodgett. The former chairman of the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee, Dr. Blodgett is the manager of the Burnett Ranches’ Four Sixes Ranch horse division at Guthrie, Texas, which for many years stood Streakin Six.

“He was inches away from winning a whole lot more than he did,” Dr. Blodgett says. “Streakin Six was a heckuva sire in his own right, and a heckuva broodmare sire, too. He was just a real good horse.”

This report for the America’s Horse library provides you with special information on The Doc Bar Bloodline and how he and his get have impacted the American Quarter Horse industry.

A bright chestnut son of major winner Easy Six out of the stakes-winning Little Request (TB) mare Miss Assured, Streakin Six was foaled in April 1977 on Ted Wells’ ranch at Alex, Oklahoma.

Sent to trainer Don Farris, who put future Hall of Fame jockeys Danny Cardoza and Jerry Nicodemus on him, Streakin Six during his first two seasons at the track ran 15 races against only top-flight competition and was never worse than third – and was that far back only once. He was second in his first two starts as a freshman, to eventual champion Easy Angel in the trials for the Kansas Futurity and to eventual world champion Denim N Diamonds in the Kansas Futurity Consolation. Then he reeled off four consecutive victories, capped by his score in the Rainbow Futurity, and finished the year with a second to champion Pie In The Sky in the All American Futurity.

Returned to action at 3, Streakin Six was third to champions Jaimie Jay and Denim N Diamonds in the Kansas Derby, finished second to six-figure earner Alamitos Feature in the World’s Championship Classic and scored by daylight going away in the All American Derby Consolation. Finally, in his first career start away from Ruidoso Downs, he put a length on a very good field of stakes horses in the New Mexico State Fair Handicap at Albuquerque. Streakin Six came back at 4 to win a January allowance at Los Alamitos Race Course, but after three off-the-board finishes following his first season at stud, Streakin Six was retired with a career record of 19-10-5-1 and $473,934 in earnings.

So, yeah, Streakin Six was a real good horse. The stallion is the latest in a long line of Hall of Fame horses, in a tail-male line from his paternal grandsire Easy Jet, great-grandsire Jet Deck, great-great-grandsire Moon Deck and great-great-greatgrandsire Top Deck (TB), and through various stallions and mares to other Hall of Famers Three Bars (TB), Joe Reed and Peter McCue.

Now Streakin Six extends his family’s long and distinguished line through the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

“The influence through his daughters and sons is Streakin Six’s biggest impact on the breed,” Dr. Blodgett says. “A stallion can’t get into the Hall of Fame solely by his race record. He also has to be a great sire. He has to make good hits both ways to get there. And he’s done it. Streakin Six is a very deserving horse. I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with a lot of great horses, and he’s definitely one of them.”