Jessies First Down is Prompt Favorite in Grade 1 Leo Stakes

The two-time world champion made his season debut Saturday at Remington Park.

Q-Racing Journal

Sent to post as the 2-5 favorite in a field of eight, Jessies First Down was all alone at the wire in Saturday's Leo Stakes. PHOTO: Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park.

Making his first start in four months, two-time reigning world champion Jessies First Down sprinted to a wire-to-wire, two-length victory in Saturday's $100,165 Leo Stakes (G1) at Remington Park.

Jessies First Down covered 400 yards in :19.308 and posted a 103 speed index under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo. Jimmy Padgett prepped the homebred 7-year-old Fdd Dynasty gelding for owner Ted G. Abrams of Houston, Texas.

"I thought he ran as good as he could run; :19.30 going 400 yards here with no wind is pretty impressive," said Abrams. "He's just a phenomenal racehorse. There's not a lot you can say about him. He's accomplished everything that any Quarter Horse could ever accomplish."

Jessies First Down was making his first start since December 31, when the gelding ran second in the 440-yard, $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (G1) in New Mexico. During his 2017 championship campaign, Jessies First Down won five of seven starts, including four stakes, and earned $493,257.

"This horse doesn't like a really long layoff, so we really just gave him a short break and got him ready for this race," said Padgett. "When you have a horse like this, it's just a blessing."

All told, Jessies First Down has won 16 of 35 starts, and the $59,838 winner's share of the Leo Stakes purse pushed his earnings to $1,135,202, of which $923,299 has been pocketed during his two world championship campaigns.

Jessies First Down was sent to post as the 2-5 favorite and returned a $2.80 win mutuel. Firing Tools, an 11-1 longshot, finished second to complete a $14.60 ($2) exacta.

Koolnfamous, Rock About It, Bye Byefreighttrain, Tommy The Train, Fast N Famous Jeans, and Fdp Rock Solid completed the order of finish.

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