Fire On The Fly is Prompt Favorite in Sam Houston Distance Challenge

The homebred 6-year-old gelding earns a spot in this year's Grade 1 Zoetis Distance Challenge Championship.

Q-Racing Journal

Under a perfectly timed ride from Donell Blake, Fire On The Fly wins Saturday's Zoetis Sam Houston Distance Challenge. PHOTO: Coady Photography/Sandra Beck

Sent to post as the 9-10 favorite in the six-horse field, Bullard Farms' Fire On The Fly scored a head victory in Saturday's $20,700 Zoetis Sam Houston Distance Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park.

Trained by Tommy Bullard and ridden by Donell Blake, Fire On The Fly went 870 yards in :45.703 and earned a 98 speed index. In addition to the $10,350 winner's share of the purse, the homebred 6-year-old son of Jet Cartel nailed down a spot in this year's Grade 1 Zoetis Distance Challenge Championship.

"Like I said before, he's a natural 870 horse and has no trainer," quipped Bullard after the race. "He has a great jockey and a lot of talent. We're just lucky to get a good one."

Fire On The Fly came from just off of the pace set by Stolis Pro, who held on for second.

"I didn't want to send him too early," said Blake of Fire On The Fly's trip. "I finally got my shot, and he battled on."

Raced in five different states, Fire On The Fly has won 11 of 28 starts and has banked $171,406. The gelding's five career stakes victories include the last two runnings of the Governor's Cup Marathon Stakes at Sam Houston, and the 2014 AQHA Sunland Distance Challenge (G3) at Sunland Park in New Mexico.

Bling Bling Bok, Speed Bok, EC Cartel, and Dashers Midnight completed the order of finish.

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