Heza Dasha Fire to Undergo Knee Surgery

The reigning world champion will have surgery on Friday to remove chips from both knees.

Press release

Reigning world champion Heza Dasha Fire will undergo minor knee surgery on Friday. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

AQHA World Champion Heza Dasha Fire will undergo surgery on both knees this week to remove minor bone chips said owner Kathy Meneely. Dr. Wayne McIlwraith is scheduled to perform the surgical procedure on Friday. Heza Dasha Fire is expected to race again this year.

After Friday’s surgery, the 4-year-old gelding by Walk Thru Fire will return to Los Alamitos Race Course for approximately 30 days of stall rest before heading to Dr. Rick and Mindy Overly’s Lazy Creek Ranch in Murrieta, California, to complete his rehabilitation. If everything goes as planned, Heza Dasha Fire should be back at Los Alamitos in June or early July to return to training. 

“We x-rayed Heza Dasha Fire after the Champion of Champions (held on December 12, 2015) and he was clean,” Meneely said. “We decided to x-ray him again on Tuesday and that’s when (Dr. Rick Overly) found three tiny chips. The good thing is that he is not showing any lameness and there’s no heat and no swelling. Had we not done the x-rays then we wouldn’t have known he had these minor chips. His ankles are clean.”

Owned and bred by the Meneelys’ S-Quarter K LLC, Heza Dasha Fire won the Grade 1 Champion of Champions by 1 ¼ lengths, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby by a length, and the Grade 2 Golden State Derby by 1 ½ lengths on the way to being named World Champions, champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding in 2015. He was undefeated in all five of his starts last year.

In his 2016 debut, Heza Dasha Fire finished second to Moonist in the trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship on January 24 before running second again to Moonist in a great Winter Championship final on Sunday night.

“We were going to give him some time off after the Winter Championship no matter what,” Meneely added. “But now instead of him having 60 days off, it’ll probably be more like five months off. The chips may or may not have healed on their own at the ranch, but if they don’t heal and they get worse when he comes back in April then we probably would have had no chance of getting him back to the track this year.”

The champion 2-year-old gelding in 2014, Heza Dasha Fire has won 11 of 14 career starts and has earned $1,714,487. His earnings rank him 15th all-time in money earned by a Quarter Horse. He is trained by Jose Flores.

Meneely added that champion 2-year-old gelding Ima Fearless Hero, half-brother to Heza Dasha Fire and winner of the 2015 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, is recovering nicely from his knee surgeries to also remove small bone chips.

“He’ll start swimming in March and he’ll be back at the track in April,” she said.

Ima Fearless Hero also won the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year on the way to earning $982,699 during his 2-year-old campaign.

Grade 1 Winner He Looks Hot Back in Training

Ed Allred’s He Looks Hot, the winner of the 2014 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, is back in training. The gelding by Walk Thru Fire posted a 220-yard turn and work in :12.5 on Friday, February 12 and trainer Scott Willoughby is looking to give a gate work in the next week or so. He Looks Hot missed 2015 season after undergoing colic surgery.

The surgery revealed the reason for He Looks Hot’s colic.

“He swallowed a big piece of rope,”  Allred said.

He Looks Hot is eligible to the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity trials to be held on June 12.

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