11/01/2015 11:31AM

Heza Dasha Fire earns spot in Champion of Champions with Super Derby win


Heza Dasha Fire won the fourth major stakes of his career Saturday in the $859,400 Los Alamitos Super Derby for Quarter Horses, setting up a showdown with top older horse Moonist in the $600,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 12.

Heza Dasha Fire, the champion 2-year-old gelding of 2014, earned an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions with the win in the 400-yard Super Derby. Moonist, the champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding of 2014, holds an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions for his win in the Los Alamitos Championship last month.

Heza Dasha Fire ($2.60) won the Super Derby by a length over the 50-1 Sass Me Blue. Ridden by Cruz Mendez, Heza Dasha Fire was not sharp at the start but recovered quickly and led throughout, holding a half-length advantage midway through the race.

Trained by Jose Flores for Don and Kathy Meneely of Kennewick, Wash., Heza Dasha Fire has won 10 of 11 starts and earned $1,389,388. At 2, he won the Ed Burke Million and Golden State Million futurities but was fourth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in December. Earlier this year, Heza Dasha Fire won the Golden State Derby.

The Champion of Champions will be the first start at 440 yards for Heza Dasha Fire, bred by the Meneelys at their farm in Washington.