09/18/2008 11:00PM

Flamethrowintexan primed for big race


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The supporting card for the $250,000 British Columbia Derby includes three stakes races, and the most interesting one is the $50,000 Derby Bar and Grill Express that goes as the seventh race.

What makes the race so compelling is the presence of Flamethrowintexan, who is trained by Jim Penney.

A 7-year-old gelding, Flamethrowintexan hasn't won since a game victory over Fantastic Spain in his first try on turf in the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26, 2006. He also won the Longacres Mile and the Mount Rainier Breeders' Cup that year. Flamethrowintexan only started twice in 2007, and in his lone start this year, he set fast fractions before tiring in the Longacres Mile on Aug. 17.

With more than $810,000 in earnings, he is the class of the field and arguably the classiest horse on the card. He also loves running at Hastings. He has won both of his starts here, including an 8 1/2-length romp in the 2004 B.C. Derby.

According to assistant trainer Kay Cooper, Flamethrowintexan is coming up to a good race.

"We were very proud of his race in the Mile," she said. "He went into it off of works alone and he just got a little tired. He came back with a nice work and he should be ready for a big effort on Sunday."

Penney was hoping to run Gallon in the B.C. Derby, but, according to Cooper, Gallon didn't come out of his win in the Emerald Derby on Sept. 1 in optimal condition. Gallon was placed first in the Emerald Derby after a bumping incident with Thiscatsgotcharm in midstretch.

"We were excited about bringing him up for the derby," she said. "It didn't look like much, but he must have been bumped pretty hard. His shoulder has been bothering him, and we haven't been able to train him since he ran."

Owner seeks better luck in B.C. Derby

It was unfortunate that Sir Gallovic was stuck down on the rail with nowhere to go in last year's B.C. Derby. While Sir Gallovic was waiting for somewhere to run, Celtic Dreamin had clear sailing and opened up a clear lead around the stretch turn. Celtic Dreamin was never threatened in the stretch as he cruised to a 5 1/2-length win over Gandolf. With a different trip for Sir Gallovic, it would have been fun to watch the two classy 3-year-olds battle it out in the stretch.

Glen Todd, who is the driving force behind the ownership team that owns Sir Gallovic, is hoping for a better outcome in the derby this year.

He has entered Texas Wildcatter and Forest Prince. Both horses are trained by Troy Taylor, and they were part of a three-horse package bought by Todd and Patrick Kinsella from Stonerside Stable in July.

Texas Wildcatter was clearly the horse Todd and Kinsella wanted the most. He came close to winning the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes on March 8 and prior to arriving at Hastings, he finished fifth to Pyro in the Grade 3 Northern Dancer at Churchill on June 14.

"Right now, he is better than he has ever been since we've had him," Todd said. "If he doesn't win the race, it's because he lost it."

Texas Wildcatter hasn't won a race for his new connections. He made an immediate impression in his first start at Hastings, however, almost upsetting Spaghetti Mouse in the $100,000 B.C. Cup Classic on Aug. 4. He also ran a big race to finish second in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby in his latest start.

Forest Prince, who will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, is no slouch and would also appear to have a big shot in the derby. Todd shouldered the blame for Forest Prince's second-place finish in the Richmond Derby Trial won by Krazy Koffee.

"There was only one speed horse in the field, so we told Mario to have him up close early," Todd said. "It probably cost him the race. We're going to let him ride his own race this time, and it won't hurt that there is plenty of other speed in the field."

Todd also reported that Sir Gallovic has been retired and that he will stand him at stud.

"We've done three operations on him to try and correct his breathing, but nothing has worked," Todd said. "He is easily the best horse I have ever owned, and I think he'll turn out to be a good stud. Thanks to Troy, I have enough decent mares to breed to him, so at least he'll get a good shot at it."

Sir Gallovic is by Victory Gallop out of the Skywalker mare Lotus Moon. After his rough trip in the derby, he beat Canadian Sovereign Award winner True Metropolitan in the Grade 3 Premiers.

Olmos appeals 45-day suspension

Owner-trainer Juan Olmos has appealed the 45-day suspension he received from the stewards on Sept. 17. A horse he trained, Distorted Glamour, tested in excess of the allowable level of total carbon dioxide on Sept. 13. Distorted Glamour, who was randomly tested before the race, finished fourth in a $15,000 claiming race won by Nineleventurbo.

According to Sam Hawkins, who is the director of racing for the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch, a decision regarding the appeal must be made within 60 days of the written request.

The timing of the resolution of the appeal is significant because Olmos owns and trains El Sinaloense, who will be the heavy favorite to win the $100,000 Jack Diamond Futurity on Oct. 5.