Champion Heza Dasha Fire Tops Rich Los Alamitos Super Derby

The fastest qualifier, the homebred gelding is the 1-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $859,400 stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

The winner of Saturday's Los Alamitos Super Derby, which features champion Heza Dasha Fire (photo), earns a berth in the Grade 1 Champion of Champions in December. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Heza Dasha Fire, a homebred son of Walk Thru Fire and last year’s champion 2-year-old gelding, is one of 10 sophomores entered back in Saturday’s 400-yard, $859,400 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Trained by Jose Flores for the Meneely family’s S-Quarter K LLC, Heza Dasha Fire has been made the 1-5 morning-line favorite by track morning-line maker Ed Burgart. The gelding brings a three-race win streak into the Super Derby that includes a wire-to-wire, 1 1/2-length victory in the 400-yard, $180,000 Golden State Derby (G1) on August 23.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” said Don Meneely, who with his wife, Kathy, and son Shawn race Heza Dasha Fire. “We’ll never get another one like him, and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else.”

All told, Heza Dasha Fire has earned $1,045,240, and his nine wins in 10 starts include three graded stakes scores. The gelding is ranked fifth in the most recent AQHA Racing/ 3-year-old and older poll.

Heza Dasha Fire’s nine opponents include Forget It, a gelded son of champion Foose owned by Dutch Masters III and trainer Jaime Gomez. Forget It has won his last six races, including the July 25, $195,000 Governor’s Cup Derby (RG3) for California-bred 3-year-olds, and the April 4, $175,000 El Primero del Ano Derby (G3).

“It’s going to be tough against Heza Dasha Fire,” said Gomez. “Heza Dasha Fire was very impressive (in the trials).”

Forget It was pretty impressive in this trial as well, as the gelding dug in late to win by a head as the 1-5 favorite.

“He needed his trial race,” said Gomez of Forget It. “He likes to run, so he’s best when he’s been racing. He’s been off for a month, so he’ll be ready for the final.”

Other contenders include Fulton Quien Sabe Ranch’s Tallulah Moon. A gray daughter of Corona Cartel trained by Mike Robbins, the stakes-winning filly is coming off of a three-quarter length victory in her Super Derby trial.

“She had ankle and knee surgery after she left here last year,” said Robbins. “She was off three to four months and resting in Texas before we put her back in training during the summer. She was a little sluggish in training at first, but she got going pretty quickly.

“She’s a hard-trying filly; she gives you everything she’s got,” added the trainer. “If she hadn’t had surgery we would have raced in some of the Ruidoso derbies and in some of the Bank of America Challenge events.”

The winner of Saturday’s Super Derby will join Moonist, Dashin Brown Streak, Far Niente, and Quirky in the lineup for the $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1) on December 12.


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