World Champion Jessies First Down Arrives at Remington Park
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—MARCH 27, 2019—When a horse’s path has led down a road to millionaire success, the tendency is to follow that road of gold. That is exactly what the connections for Jessies First Down expect to do here at Remington Park this spring.
Jessies First Down stepped off the van at Remington Park this week and looked like a reflection of his pocketbook – a million dollars. This two-time American Quarter Horse Association World Champion (2016 & 2017) is ready to resume his quest for stakes glory as an 8-year-old now. James Lackey, assistant to trainer James Padgett, says it is likely this superstar will follow the path that led to winning the Leo Stakes and the Remington Park Championship in 2018.
“He won the Sunland Championship this winter after leaving Remington Park and has just had a little rest and relaxation on the farm since then,” Lackey said.
It looks like rest has done this gelded son of FDD Dynasty, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare, Jess a Classy Lassy, some good because he was shiny, dappled out, muscled up and on his toes as he tried out the walker on Wednesday at this Oklahoma City track. Dressed in bell boots and wraps, it wasn’t hard to pick out the champion of the four that were getting some easy exercise. It would have been like picking out Duane “The Rock” Johnson from a roomful of Barney Fifes.
This year’s Grade 1, $100,000-added Leo Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, coinciding with Kentucky Derby Day, and the Grade 1, $250,000-added Remington Park Championship is set for closing day of the meet, Saturday, June 1.
One of the most amazing things about Jessies First Down that people tend to forget is that when he was 2- and 3-years-old he couldn’t find the winner’s circle if you had spotted him a GPS system. He lost the first eight races of his career and yet as he matured he became almost unbeatable. Since going 0-for-8, he has won 19-of-30 starts for $1,624,002 in lifetime earnings. Overall his career mark is 38 starts, 19 wins, 12 seconds and one third. Among those victories are 14 in stakes-company. He currently has won 12 of his last 14 tries, and 16 of his last 20. Nine of his stakes wins have been Grade 1 events.
At Remington Park, Jessies First Down has four starts, winning two, with one second and no thirds. He has earned $259,928 in Oklahoma City under regular jockey Rodrigo Vallejo.
The year 2016 was incredible for Jessies First Down. He was the top quarter horse in the country for wins with eight. Owner Ted Abrams of Houston, Texas, must have been shaking his head from side to side those first two years. Now all he does is shake it in the affirmative fashion when he watches this horse beat them all to the wire.
In that 2016 campaign, Jessies First Down began the year at Hialeah Park in Florida, where he beat an allowance field. He followed that with a runner-up finish in the City of Hialeah Stakes, followed by nine more races in which he had his picture taken in the winner’s circle in seven of those, while he was second in the other two. Among his victories that year were the Grade 1 Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, the Grade 1 Zia Park Championship Stakes and the Grade 1 Championship at Sunland Park Stakes in New Mexico, the Grade 2 Sam Houston Championship Challenge, the Grade 2 Sam Houston Classic Stakes and the Miami-Dade County Stakes at Hialeah.
The year culminated with him being named 2016 AQHA World Champion, Champion Aged Horse and Champion Gelding.
When he steps on the track for his first race this year at Remington Park, it will be easy to spot him. Jessies First Down will be the one with his head in the clouds above his competition, looking for more of the success he has enjoyed in recent years.
Racing continues Thursday at Remington Park with 11 races beginning at 6 p.m.
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Remington Park is always open for casino gaming. Simulcast horse racing is offered daily. Admission, parking and valet parking are always free at Remington Park. Guests must be 18 or older in order to wager on horse racing or to enter the casino.
Tracked by more than 150,000 fans on Facebook and more than 9,800 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $215 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Home to the historic Grade 2 Oklahoma Futurity, to be run for the 78th time on March 23, 2019, Remington Park is located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.