09/23/2004 11:00PM

Flamethrowintexan's work says ready

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - If the five-furlong work by Flamethrowintexan on Tuesday is any indication of how he's going to run in the $250,000 B.C. Derby Sunday, he's going to be very tough to beat.

With exercise rider Bryson Cooper aboard, Flamethrowintexan worked a very fast 59.20 seconds, more than two seconds faster than the next-best five-furlong work of the day. And the way Flamethrowintexan did it has Cooper excited about his chances in the B.C. Derby.

Cooper is the main exercise rider for trainer Jim Penney, for whom Flamethrowintexan raced at Emerald Downs. And he's married to Kay Cooper, Penney's daughter, who will be Flamethrowintexan's trainer-of-record for the derby.

"It sent chills through my heart," said Cooper. "The last time I had that kind of feeling working a horse was when I worked Edneator before he won the Longacres Mile. He had his ears pricked the whole way, and he couldn't have done it any easier."

You never know how a horse who has been running on a mile track will handle the tighter turns at Hastings, but according to Cooper, Flamethrowintexan actually accelerated around the turns.

"He really leaned into the turns and just scooted around there," he said. "He's ready."

Flamethrowintexan is owned by Paul and Lori Heist, who race under the stable name Grasshopper Stable Inc. The Penney-Cooper team looked all over the United States

for a good 3-year-old before claiming Flamethrowintexan for $62,500 out of a winning race at Hollywood Park June 24.

"What we liked about him was that he had excellent speed, and we were pretty sure that if we could get him to relax he would be able to carry it a distance," Cooper said. "We have him so settled now that I don't think he needs to be in front, so if someone really wants to go I'm pretty sure he'll rate just off of them."

Flamethrowintexan has won two races at Emerald since being claimed, including the 1 1/16-mile Seattle Slew Breeders' Cup Handicap on July 31. He finished second in the 1 1/8-mile Emerald Downs Breeders' Cup Derby in his last start.

"He ran his race but he just got outrun by My Creed, who had shipped in from California," said Cooper. "The way he handled this track, he should run a big race Sunday."

There is plenty of depth in the 12-horse derby field, and one horse who could get overlooked is Quiet Cash.

He was claimed for $32,000 by owner Bahadur Cheema out of a winning race at Del Mar and subsequently was shipped to trainer Terry Jordan. A victory in a $32,000 claiming race isn't anything to get excited about, but he also has finished within five lengths of Lion Heart in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity last December.

"He's not a bad little horse," said Jordan. "Like most of the horses that ship up from California, he's got a few problems with his feet. But right now they seem to be in reasonable shape. He's plenty fit, and I'm just trying to keep him happy."

Loseth nears landmark anniversary

Sunday is an important anniversary for the all-time leading jockey at Hastings, Chris Loseth. It was 30 years ago Sunday that Loseth rode his first winner, Stormy Dawn, and since then he's won more than 3,600 races and holds the Hastings record with 205 stakes wins.

"I've surprised a few people by doing as well as I have," said Loseth. "I remember when I first started riding and Aubrey Davies, who was a steward at Kamloops at the time, told me, 'You're never going to make it.' "

Loseth has been the leading rider at Hastings eight times, and he won the Sovereign Award as the leading apprentice in Canada in 1976 and as the leading rider in 1984.

Loseth turns 50 on Oct. 5, and he's looking ahead to becoming a trainer when he retires.

"I'm not done yet, but I've been working with my wife, Tracy [McCarthy], and I'll probably be her assistant when I finally hang up my tack," he said.

McCarthy, who took out her trainer's license this year, trains Notis Otis, a leading contender for the Jack Diamond Futurity next Saturday.

Armstrong's pair both strong in Delta Colleen

Also on Sunday's card is the $40,000 Delta Colleen Stakes, which drew 11 older fillies and mares and appears to be wide open.

Trainer Janet Armstrong might well saddle the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile race, but it's hard to predict whether it will be You and Nelly or Stormented.

Both are coming off wins, You and Nelly in a $50,000 optional route and Stormented in the 6 1/2-furlong Cover Girl Stakes.