Jessies First Down is First in Sam Houston Classic

The homebred FDD Dynasty gelding earned his third stakes win at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday.

Q-Racing Journal

Ted G. Abrams' Jessies First Down earned his first graded stakes victory in Saturday's Grade 2, 440-yard Sam Houston Classic. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Sent to post as the 19-10 favorite in a field of eight, Jessies First Down responded with a half-length victory in the $50,000 Sam Houston Classic Stakes (G2) at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday.

Jessies First Down covered his 440-yard trip in :21.521 and posted a 105 speed index under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo. Judd Kearl prepped the homebred 5-year-old son of champion FDD Dynasty for owner Ted G. Abrams.

"This horse has been super his whole career," said Kearl. "He has a hard time getting away once in a while, and that's what gets him beat. He's got a super big finish, and he caught them at the end."

Jessies First Down's sire was the sport's champion 2-year-old colt in 2006. His dam, the winning Mr Jess Perry mare Jess A Classy Lassy, was a finalist in the '07 Rainbow Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

"This is a tribute to our breeding program," added Abrams. "We've got some good mares and have bred to great stallions, and it's paying off."

Abrams indicated that Jessies First Down might be pointed to this year's 440-yard, $200,000 All American Gold Cup (G1), which will be run at Ruidoso Downs in September.

"We tried him there last year, and he had trouble with the altitude," Abrams said. "Judd will take him out there a little earlier and get him acclimated."

Jessies First Down has won six of 22 outs and has banked $241,528. The bay gelding's three career stakes victories include last year's 440-yard, $204,715 Hialeah Maturity at Hialeah Park near Miami.

Fly Thru The Fire, the 3-1 second choice, finished second to complete a $2 exacta payoff of $19.80. Poker Chip 831, Jess Toast Winner, Dashin For A Prize, Jumpn Streak, Kool Design and Quemados Version completed the order of finish.

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