05/25/2007 11:00PM

FSN Cap shapes up as title bout


AUBURN, Wash. - Flamethrowintexan and Starbird Road will face off with leadership of the local handicap division on the line in Monday's $45,000 FSN Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Flamethrowintexan, a 6-year-old son of Way West from the barn of trainer Jim Penney, will be making his seasonal debut. He is coming off a stellar 2006 campaign in which he won the Mt. Rainier Handicap, the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, and the Grade 3 Bay Meadows Handicap, banking $315,250.

Flamethrowintexan has worked brilliantly this spring and capped his preparation for the FSN with a six-furlong gate work last Sunday in 1:09.60 under Gallyn Mitchell, who has the mount on Monday at 123 pounds.

Starbird Road is pegged just one pound below the highweight at 122 pounds after winning his last 5 races and 6 of his last 7. Starbird Road, a 6-year-old son of Count the Time who is trained by Sharon Ross, is coming off a powerful 1o3/4-length score in the May 6 Seattle Handicap, in which he sped six furlongs in 1:08.20.

The Bill Tollett-trained entry of Spanish Highway and Keagan figures to pose the most serious challenge to the top two. Spanish Highway upset both Flamethrowintexan and Starbird Road in last year's FSN, and he is coming off a perfect prep, having closed strongly for second in a rapidly run $50,000 optional claiming sprint in his first start of the meeting on May 12.

Keagan, a stretch-runner who was claimed for $80,000 last year, finished strongly in two shorter preps at Sunland Park and may be coming up to a top try in the third start of his current form cycle.