11/03/2014 8:55AM

Heza Dasha Fire overcomes bumps in Golden State Million


CYPRESS, Calif. - Heza Dasha Fire extended his unbeaten streak to five races in Sunday’s $989,100 Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos, overcoming trouble at the start to win by a half-length.

The victory moves Heza Dasha Fire closer to becoming the first horse to sweep the three richest futurities at Los Alamitos – the Ed Burke Million in the summer, the Golden State Million and the Los Alamitos Million. Time trials for the Los Alamitos Million Futurity are scheduled for Nov. 23, with the final on Dec. 14.

No horse has swept the series since it was inaugurated in 1998.

There was no betting on the Golden State Million. The track announced on Friday that the race would be run as an exhibition. Track officials said that the 10 qualifiers underwent more extensive drug testing than what is conducted on a typical race – including hair follicle testing – and that the results of those tests were not available in time.

Heza Dasha Fire, who would have been a heavy favorite, ran 400 yards in 19.68 seconds despite being bumped by horses on each side of him at the start. Jockey Cruz Mendez said Heza Dasha Fire fought his way through the bumping incident to reach the front midway through the race.

“They bumped me pretty hard and he just went through it,” Mendez said. “They closed me off. I was hit hard, but the horse was running at the end.”

Heza Dasha Fire races for Don and Kathy Meneely and trainer Lindolfo Diaz. Heza Dasha Fire has earned $820,352.