Down Dash, si 105,
is a legend!
For Cash, si 114, out of
First Prize Rose, si 98 (by
Gallant Jet), First Down Dash is the World's All-Time
Leading Sire of Racing Quarter Horses!
down dash is the all-time leading sire in every
category. From 21 crops to race, he has sired 1,593
starters, 1,163 winners (73%), 224 stakes winners (14%),
2134 stakes-placed (13%), and 35 champions. Through November
23, 2010, his get have earned $73,743,088 with average
earnings per starter of $46,292. He is also the #1 sire of
millionaires with 11.
Among his leading money
earners are champion
Ocean Runaway ($1,642,498), All American
winner No Secrets
Here ($1,637,095), champion
Loveagain ($1,210,375), champion
($1,173,001), world champion
A Classic Dash
Dash Thru Traffic
Royal Quick Dash ($1,046,980), world champion
As most stallions begin to
"taper off" in their older years,
First Down Dash has continued to dominate the industry.
This season he is currently the #1 leading sire of
two-year-old money earners with $2.59 million and #2 leading
sire for money earners with $3.6 million.
He has sired four grade 1
futurity winners in 2010 including
Bodacious Dash, Texas Classic Futurity(G1);
Illusion, Ed Burke Million Futurity(G1);
Givinitaroyaleffort, Heritage Place Futurity(G1);
and Hes Too Icy
For Me, Rainbow Futurity(G1).
Every single horse in the 2010
Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity(G1) field (to be contested
on December 10th) is either a son of First Down Dash, out of
a First Down Dash mare, or sired by a son or grandson of
First Down Dash.
Bred in Oklahoma
by A.F. Stanley Jr., and B.F. Phillips, Jr., out of
the Gallant Jet mare First Prize Rose, First Down Dash
surpassed the legacy at stud that started with his own sire,
Dash For Cash.
purchased the phenomenal horse at the Phillips Ranch
Yearling Sale in the summer of 1985 for $97,000. He was one
of the first yearlings broke at the new
facility near Bonsall, California.
Trained by Mike Robbins, at 2,
the colt won five of six starts including the grade 1 Dash
For Cash and Kindergarten futurities, while earning
$518,120. Champion trainer Blane Schvaneveldt took over
training duties in 1987 to saddle the sorrel speedster to
eight wins in nine starts. Those wins included the
Champion of Champions(G1), Los Alamitos Derby(G1), QHBC
Championship Classic(G1), Dash For Cash Derby(G1) and Laddie
With 13 wins in 15
starts and earnings of $857,256,
First Down Dash was named the AQHA Racing World
Champion, Champion 3-Year-Old and
Champion 3-year-Old Colt of 1987.
Under the guidance of Scoop
Vessels, First Down Dash got off to spectacular start as a
stallion by siring the winners of the rich All American
Futurity(G1) in each of his first three crops to race.
In 1993 Vessels syndicated the
stallion for $7 million, the first successful syndication in
Quarter racing industry since the late 70's early 80's. The
investor's earned tremendous returns and it opened a market
for Quarter Horse stallion syndicates that continues today.
incredible success as a sire is also attributable to the
maternal side of his
pedigree, which connects him to the incomparable
Lady Bug. In an
article in the American Quarter Horse Racing Journal
Richard Chamberlain writes, "First Down Dash exhibits much
more the phenotype of his bottom side than his top."
great First Down Dash stood at
Farm, in Bonsall, California, his entire stallion
career. He passed away November 25, 2010, at the age of 26.
Scoop Vessels, his good friend, preceded him in death. Scoop
died in a tragic accident in August of 2010
is Circle D's honor to
son of First Down Dash.
Left: First Down Dash and
Scoop Vessels, Vessels Stallion Farm, Bonsall, California
(The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal, August 2004).
Above 2 photos by Robbi
Dash is First Sire of the All American
Amarillo, Texas, September 3,
2006--If any doubts
about First Down Dash’s influence on American Quarter Horse
racing remain, check out the field for Monday’s $1.9 million
All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs. All of the 10
starters in the 440-yard race have the stallion in their
pedigree, which the crew at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall,
California, recognizes as a tremendous accomplishment.
“It means he
is what he is,” said farm owner and AQHA Past President
Frank “Scoop” Vessels about the 22-year-old son of Dash For
Cash. “He’s simply the best sire in the history of Quarter
In the pedigree rundown for
this year’s All American starters:
-- First Down Dash is the sire
of First Freeze, My First Passion and fastest qualifier No
-- He is the broodmare sire of Genuine Botticelli, Mightys
First Call and Separate Bet.
-- His son Stoli sired Dont Let Down.
-- His son Dash Ta Fame sired Gun Battle.
-- His son Okey Dokey Dale sired Okey Dokey Fantasy.
-- Remember Me Rose is by Corona Cartel, whose sire, Holland
Ease, is a son of First Down Dash.
With 17 crops to race, First Down Dash also is the all-time
leading sire of American Quarter Horses by progeny earnings
with more than $55.5 million. He has sired a record five
winners of the All American: Royal Quick Dash (1991), Dash
Thru Traffic (1992), A Classic Dash (1993), Corona Cash
(1997) and Falling In Loveagain (1998). Royal Quick Dash is
the sire of 2002 All American winner AB What A Runner.
First Down Dash’s offspring possess the uncommon
intelligence and athletic ability of their sire.
“You can breed him to those
(TB) mares that might be a little hot-blooded, and yet (the
offspring) are calm, they want to learn, they want to do
good for you,” Vessels said. “Anybody can train them. That’s
not the case with a lot of horses. I think that’s one reason
he’s done so well for so many people.”
First Down Dash raced for
Vessels Stallion Farm, which also has had its share of All
American success as an owner and breeder. The farm won the
race in 1973 with Timeto Thinkrich, and bred Royal Quick
Dash and Dash Thru Traffic. This year, Vessels is
represented by three starters as the co-breeder of My First
Passion with Martha Wells; the breeder of No Secrets Here,
whom Vessels co-owns with Benny Rosset; and as the breeder
of Separate Bet.
“To be able to see him every
day is really special,” Vessels said. “Both Bonnie (Vessels’s
wife) and I try very hard not to miss a time when we can
stop by and see him. He’s very much a member of the family.”