Sam Houston Derby

Sam Houston Derby

Fire Cowboy extends his winning streak while earning his third graded stakes victory.

Fire Cowboy. PHOTO: Coady Photography

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Fire Cowboy, a sorrel son of Flying Cowboy 123 racing for Emmanuel Villarreal and the fastest qualifier, pushed his win streak to seven races with his clear 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $280,450 Sam Houston Derby G3 at Sam Houston Race Park.

Ridden by Victor Urieta Jr., Fire Cowboy went 350 yards in :17.346 while recording a 106 speed index. Juan Diaz Jr. prepped the gelding.

Fire Cowboy was bred in Texas by Edward and Von Zae McNelis, and he was a $22,000 yearling buy at the 2022 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. The gelding is out of Perky, a winning California-bred daughter of the First Down Dash stallion Walk Thru Fire. His second dam, the Corona Cartel mare Moonlight Corona, won two stakes at Los Alamitos in '09.

Fire Cowboy was coming off of a three-quarter length victory in the third of five Sam Houston Derby trials on May 23. All told, the gelding has won eight of 11 races -- including four of six at Sam Houston Race Park and four of seven at the 350-yard trip -- and the $112,180 winner's share of the purse from his third graded stakes victory increased his earnings to $357,773.

Fire Cowboy's current streak includes victories in last year's 350-yard, $131,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) at Lone Star Park, and 400-yard, $238,000 Evangeline Downs Futurity (G2) in Louisiana.

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