World Champion Jessies First Down Wins Albuquerque Fall Championship
The 440-yard, $250,000 race was one of three Quarter Horse stakes run on closing day at Albuquerque Downs.
September 24, 2017
Reigning American Quarter Horse Association world champion Jessies First Down, a homebred 6-year-old son of FDD Dynasty owned by Ted Abrams of Houston, Texas, sprinted to a three-quarter length victory in Sunday’s $250,000 Albuquerque Fall Quarter Horse Championship at Albuquerque Downs.
Ridden by Rodrigo Vallejo for trainer Jimmy Padgett and sent to post as the 3-10 favorite, Jessies First Down covered 440 yards in :20.988 while earning a 108 speed index. In addition to banking the $155,000 winner’s share of the purse, the bay gelding earned a berth in the December 16, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse near Los Angeles, Quarter Horse racing’s richest and most prestigious race for older horses.
Jessies First Down was making his first-ever start at Albuquerque Downs and was coming back in just three weeks off of his convincing 2 1/2-length win in the 440-yard, $200,000 All American Gold Cup (G1) at Ruidoso Downs on September 3.
“This horse is just 100-percent professional; he’s all class,” said Padgett. “He’s the calmest, most gentle horse I’ve ever been around, and when he steps on the racetrack to run, he’s all business. He’s shown that time after time.
“The Champion of Champions is our ultimate goal with him, but now that we’re in I’m not sure what’s next for him,” he added. “After he won the Gold Cup, he came back to the barn acting like he hadn’t even raced, so it was a no-brainer to come here. The ultimate goal is to try to get him another (world champion) trophy at the end of the year.”
Jessies First Down has won 14 of 32 starts, and he ended his 2016 season with three consecutive Grade 1 wins, all at the 440-yard distance. Of his $921,034 lifetime bankroll, $430,042 was earned during his world championship campaign.
Carson City Girl finished second and was followed by Hitta Big Lick, Dutcher, and First Valiant Sign.
Go Daddy Gone Breaks Maiden in $167,166 New Mexico State Fair Derby
Roy Hernandez’s Go Daddy Gone, an 18-1 longshot in a field of nine state-bred 3-year-olds, broke his maiden with a neck victory in Sunday’s New Mexico State Fair Quarter Horse Derby (R).
Trained by Cynthia Gonzalez, Go Daddy Gone went 400 yards in :19.765 under jockey Alonso Rivera. The $83,583 winner’s share of the $167,166 purse pushed the Big Daddy Cartel gelding’s earnings to $117,536, of which $101,087 has been banked this season.
Go Daddy Gone out-broke his eight opponents, according to his rider. The eighth-fastest qualifier, the gelding was coming off of a third-place finish in the second of three trials on September 10.
“He broke well in his trial, but he didn’t really follow through all the way to the end of it,” said Rivera. “I had to get after him down the stretch today.”
Go Daddy Gone was bred by Famous Lane Farm LLC. Raced exclusively in New Mexico, he has won one of 15 starts, and his season resume includes a third-place finish, 1 1/2 lengths behind winner Running Dragon, in the 400-yard, $85,000 New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association Stakes (RG2) at Sunland Park on February 19.
Hardtookiss, Metalica, Mamacita Cartel, fastest qualifier and 13-10 favorite Sophie Garcia, Mr Klee, Higher Noon, Mystic Daddy, and Moon River completed the order of finish.
Fastest Qualifier Strykr Force Wins La Fiesta Futurity
Strykr Force, the fastest qualifier and 13-10 favorite, earned his first stakes win in Sunday’s $252,515 La Fiesta Quarter Horse Futurity.
Owned and trained by Jesus Carrete of Albuquerque, Strykr Force went 400 yards in :19.580, and his margin of victory was one length from Seminole Senator. Agustin Silva rode the brown son of No Secrets Here, who banked $126,257 from his third win in four outs.
Carrete, the 2017 Albuquerque meet’s leading Quarter Horse trainer, purchased Strykr Force as a yearling for $5,500 at last year’s Los Alamitos Equine Sale in California. The gelding made his debut at Remington Park in Oklahoma City on March 17, finishing fifth, 1 1/2 lengths behind Apollitical Wagon in a 250-yard, $16,100 maiden-special-weight dash.
Strykr Force is undefeated in three starts at Albuquerque, as he broke his maiden on July 29, then followed that clear 1 1/4-length victory with an even more convincing 2 1/4-length win in the second of four La Fiesta trials on September 9.
“Off of his trial win, we were confident coming into this race,” said Carrete. “He’s completely sound, and he was training good and doing everything right after his trial.
“He’s not paid into anything else this year, so we’re just going to point him to next year’s derbies at Remington,” he added.
Strykr Force was bred in the state of Washington by Malon Cowgill. All told, the gelding has won three of four starts and has earned $139,326.
Swankee finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Strykr Force and was followed by High Rate Of Motion, Flashionista, Mr Perrys Tres Seis, Receptor, Legacist, and Kiss My Ivory.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.