WORLD CHAMPION JESSIES FIRST DOWN SETS NEW TRACK RECORD IN REMINGTON PARK CHAMPIONSHIP
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two-time defending American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Jessies First Down may be on his way to a third-straight crown. He won Saturday’s Grade 1, $251,265 Remington Park Championship by one length and set a new 440-yard track record in the process.
Jessies First Down had a good start but not as good as the 2017 AQHA Champion 3-year-old Hold Air Hostage who rocketed out of the gate and quickly had a daylight lead. Jessies First Down is owned by Ted Abrams of Houston. He expected his star to have to work to catch the speedy Hold Air Hostage in the race.
“We knew that Hold Air Hostage would get out in front of us,” Abrams said. “That’s just the way he does, he breaks fast. I thought we’d have to run him down at the end. To tell the truth, I didn’t think we’d pass him that fast. That might be the best race that Jessie has ever run in his life. He’s a phenomenal horse, I’ve run out of accolades for him.”
Jessies First Down caught Hold Air Hostage just past the halfway mark of the race and put his younger rival away. Both horses are trained by James Padgett who was pleased with the effort of his stable stars.
“It was definitely a horse race and lived up to everything it was built up to,” Padgett said. “Hold Air broke on top and he had the lead for probably three-quarters of the way and then Jessie run him down on the end. He’s a professional.”
Jessies First Down crossed the finish in :20.772 under jockey Rodrigo Vallejo, to set the new 440-yard mark at Remington Park. Hold Air Hostage held second while Bodacious Eagle was along for third, two lengths behind the winner.
Jessies First Down was at 7-5 odds in the betting and paid $4.80 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Hold Air Hostage was the wagering favorite at 3-5 odds, paying $2.20 to place and $2.20 to show. Bodacious Eagle paid $3 to show.
Jessies First Down added the Remington Park Championship to his score in the Grade 1 Leo Stakes, earlier this season in April. He won his 17th career race from 36 starts and picked up $150,000 for the victory to increase his overall earnings to $1,285,202.
Bred in Texas by Abrams, Jessies First Down is a 7-year-old gelding by FDD Dynasty from the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess A Classy Lassy. His Remington Park Championship victory is the first for all of his connections.
The Remington Park Championship win has now earned Jessies First Down a berth into the prestigious Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in southern California in December.
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