Jessies First Down Captures Gold Cup

Reigning world champion captures another Grade 1.

Quarter Racing Journal

Jessies First Down wins the All American Gold Cup. PHOTO: Gay Harris

Ted Abrams’ homebred Jessies First Down made a strong statement about possibly defending his 2016 world championship title when he ran away from a strong field in the $200,000 All American Gold Cup (G1) on Sunday afternoon at Ruidoso Downs. The field had earned $5.8 million coming into the All American Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup win was the first of two Grade 1 wins during the afternoon for trainer James Padgett II and jockey Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo. Two races later they won the All American Derby (G1).

Jessies First Down started alertly from the outside post position and had an abundance of racing room. Vallejo allowed him to settle into his stride and none of his impressive competitors were able to give him a race.

The 6-year-old gelding won by a dominating 2 1/4 lengths in :21.134 for the 440 yards.

“He got a good break,” said Vallejo. “He’s a very, very fast horse."

Chief rival Zoomin Effortlessly made a late rally to grab second by a head over Apollitical Ok.

A year ago, Telesforo Perrett’s Zoomin Effortlessly won the All American Gold Cup by one length over Jessies First Down.

Jessies First Down was named the 2016 world champion by concluding his 2016 campaign with three consecutive Grade 1 wins after his second-place run in the All American Gold Cup. The FDD Dynasty-sired gelding won the $75,000 Refrigerator Handicap, the $150,000 Zia Park Championship and the $350,000 The Championship at Sunland Park.

Jessies First Down was making his first start in the All American Gold Cup since finishing a head behind Zoomin Effortlessly in the $250,000 Remington Park Championship (G1) back in June.

“We’ll take him to Prairie Meadows for the (Bank of America) Challenge Championship,” said Abrams. “If he wins there, then we would go to the Champion of Champions (at Los Alamitos), otherwise he would come back to New Mexico.” The Challenge Championships will be held on October 14.

Zoomin Effortlessly was also making his first appearance since the Remington Park Championship and his close win over Jessies First Down. He was second to Jessies First Down in the Zia Park Championship and The Championship at Sunland Park.

Santos Carrizales rode Zoomin Effortlessly for trainer Edelmiro Carrizales.

J. Oscar Dominguez and Joel Martinez’s Appollitical Ok won the $50,000 Mr Jet Moore Handicap on August 5 at Ruidoso Downs. That was his only win from five 2017 starts.

The gelded son of Apollitical Jess is trained by Joel Valeriano, Jr. and was ridden by Esgar Ramirez.

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