10/28/2006 12:00AM

Flamethrowintexan leads all the way


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Flamethrowintexan went wire to wire to win his turf debut Saturday in the $141,250 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap at Bay Meadows.

Flamethrowintexan set a comfortable pace ahead of Now Victory. He was challenged in the lane by Fantastic Spain, who was ridden by Russell Baze, but held on to win by a head. Don Incauto rallied from last to finish third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Fantastic Spain. Grafton was another nose back in fourth. Flamethrowintexan ($12.60) finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.73.

"I thought Russell had me, and I bet he thought he had me, too," said Ricky Frazier, who rode Flamethrowintexan. "As soon as [Flamethrowintexan] saw the other horse, he wasn't going to go by."

Baze said he thought Fantastic Spain would win in the lane.

"I hoped they'd soften him up, but he doesn't get softened up," Baze said.

Winning trainer Kay Cooper said, "He's not going to let a horse pass him. Ricky said he turned the horse's head to see the other one. He's been so good on dirt that it was tough to change and try turf."

Cooper said Flamethrowintexan would be pointed to the Grade 1 1 1/16-mile Citation Handicap on the turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24. Earlier this year, he won the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

Flamethrowintexan earned $82,500 for Saturday's victory, his 15th in 25 starts. He has earned $800,017 in his career.