Heza Dasha Fire Takes Another Step Toward Los Al Bonanza
Gelding remains undefeated and has a shot at a big payday in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
November 24, 2014
S-Quarter K LLC’s Heza Dasha Fire is a win away from becoming the first ever winner of the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza following a sensational victory in the first of 13 trials to the Grade 1, $2,078,775 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday night.
The Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza is this track’s version of the Triple Crown and consists of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity on June 22, the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity on November 2, and next month’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Heza Dasha Fire has already won the Ed Burke Million and Golden State Million futurities, and a victory in the Los Alamitos Two Million would make American Quarter Horse racing history. Only two horses have been in a position to win the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza since the program’s inception in 1998. Hawkish won the first two legs of the series in 2003 (at the time the first two races of the series were the Kindergarten Futurity and Ed Burke) but finished out of the money in the final leg. Higher Fire came close to winning the Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, as she ran second to longshot Value The Man in the 2005 running of the Los Alamitos Two Million after winning the Ed Burke and Golden State Million.
It will now be Heza Dasha Fire’s opportunity to sweep the three legs of the series. He certainly looks capable of doing so, especially after his terrific trial win. Bred by S-Quarter K LLC, Heza Dasha Fire won his trial by three-quarters of a length over PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) winner BF Farm Boss while posting the co-fastest qualifying time of :19.557 in the 400-yard dash. Heza Dasha Fire and Rancho El Cabresto’s Apollitical Blood tied for the fastest qualifying time to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Heza Dasha Fire also improved his career record to a perfect six wins in as many starts. Cruz Mendez piloted him for trainer Jose Flores.
“That was a tough trial,” said Don Meneely, who along with his wife, Kathy, and their son, Shawn, make up the Kennewick, Washington-based S-Quarter K LLC. “That trial was like a final. BF Farm Boss is a super horse and the trial also had (Golden State Million Futurity finalist) Streakin Regard and Oneapolliticalflight, who was second in the Ed Burke Million final. It was like a futurity final. Heza Dasha Fire broke really good and he was fast into his stride. It was an exhilarating win. After he won his maiden (by 2 ¾ lengths) we had numerous, substantial offers to buy him. We wanted to race this horse. We thought that he would be able to make some money, but we never envisioned that he would be as good as he has become.”
Heza Dasha Fire won the Ed Burke Million Futurity by 1 ¼ lengths and then recovered from a very troubled start to win the Golden State Million Futurity by a half-length. He’s earned $822,552 in his six starts. First place in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity is worth $842,425. If Heza Dasha Fire wins the Los Alamitos Two Million plus the $1 million bonus, his earnings for the year will be $2,664,977. That would be an all-time record for earnings in a single year by a Quarter Horse and it would leave him $116,388 shy of Ochoa’s all-time earnings record of $2,781,365.
“We are proud of his accomplishments, but one of the most impressive things about him is that he’s stayed reasonably sound,” Meneely added. “He has picked up a few minor nicks here and there, but nothing serious. He takes care of himself and I was impressed with how he gained some weight after his last race (Golden State Million final). He’s an easy going and healthy horse. We’re excited about this race. All we can ask for is to have a chance to be in the Los Alamitos Two Million.”
Don and Peggy Boyle’s BF Farm Boss figured to give Heza Dasha Fire a run for the money after winning the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity by a head following a strong come-from-behind effort. The Oregon-bred Hawkinson gelding was ninth at the start in this race, but was flying in the final 100 yards of his trial race. BF Farm Boss finished with the sixth-fastest time of :19.704.
“I’m tickled to death with how BF Farm Boss ran,” said trainer Paul Jones. “Heza Dasha Fire is the best 2-year-old in the nation. I first said that after he broke his maiden (on April 27) and he’s done nothing to make me change my mind. I think he could be the first Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza winner. BF Farm Boss was less than a length away from him tonight. That’s among the closest any horse has come to Heza Dasha Fire this year.”
Rancho El Cabresto’s Apollitical Blood shared the honors of being the fastest qualifier to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity after winning his trial race by a half-length in a time of :19.557. Apollitical Blood has now qualified to four races with purses of $1 million or more this season. The son of world champion Apollitical Jess, Apollitical Blood was fifth in the Ed Burke Million and fourth in the Grade 1 All American Futurity before finishing second after having the early lead in the running of the Golden State Million earlier this month.
“We know how good Heza Dasha Fire can be,” said owner Juan Alberto Tirado Lizarraga of Rancho El Cabresto. “We thought we had him in the Golden State Million, but he came back to beat us. He’s a real tough horse. Apollitical Blood broke great and ran straight in this race. I’m thrilled with this horse. He’s qualified to million-dollar races four times year and he’s also a stud prospect. He also looks a lot more relaxed in the saddling paddock. He has matured a lot.”
Now a winner of three of eight career starts, Apollitical Blood was bred by Bruce and Jill Thompson. Juan Aleman saddled Apollitical Blood, who was ridden by Cesar De Alba.
Owned and bred by Ed Allred, He Looks Hot won his trial by an impressive 1 ¼ lengths while covering the 400 yards in the third-fastest qualifying time of :19.565. He Looks Hot covered the final 220 yards in the fastest time of the night of :09.41. He Looks Hot was winning for the second time in seven career starts.
“The big horse ran a big race,” said trainer Scott Willoughby. “I’ve always been high on this colt. He finished third in the Governor’s Cup Futurity (on July 27) and he was catching them at the end. He came back in the trials to the Golden State Million and he just didn’t fire. He ran a bad race. I’m very happy with his time tonight. He ran the kind of race that we knew he was capable of running.”
The field to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity will also include Golden State Million finalist Corona The Cat; Treasured Dreams, who ran second to All American Futurity winner JM Miracle in the trials to the Rainbow Futurity; All American Futurity finalist Bodacious Eagle; Bogart, a stablemate of the aforementioned Treasured Dreams; Dash For Cash Futurity finalist Jess Walkin Thru; and Ed Burke Million third place finisher Forget It.
Here’s the complete list of qualifiers: Heza Dasha Fire (:19.557), Apollitical Blood (:19.557), He Looks Hot (:19.565), Corona The Cat (:19.624), Treasured Dreams (:19.697), BF Farm Boss (:19.704), Bodacious Eagle (:19.729), Bogart (:19.746), Jess Walkin Thru (:19.757), and Forget It (:19.791).
Walk Thru Fire sired qualifiers Heza Dasha Fire, He Looks Hot and Jess Walkin Thru. Corona Cartel, the winner of the 1996 Los Alamitos Million Futurity, is the sire of Corona The Cat and Bogart, while Apollitical Jess, the runner-up of the 2009 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, sired Apollitical Blood and Treasured Dreams. One Famous Eagle, winner of the 2007 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, is the sire of Bodacious Eagle. Hawkinson sired BF Farm Boss and Foose sired Forget It. La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC will be represented by Treasured Dreams and Bogart in the Los Alamitos Two Million final.
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