08/31/2002 11:00PM

Mr. Technique flies to victory in San Mateo Stakes

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Everything that could go wrong early did for odds-on favorite Mr. Technique in the $62,150 San Mateo Stakes at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

Mr. Technique ($3) threw his head in the air at the start and broke a step slowly in the 5.5-furlong race for 2-year-olds. He was then squeezed back and fell well off the pace down the backstretch. But he unleashed an amazing kick down the stretch, making up 6.5 lengths in the final eighth of a mile, defeating Hawaiian Lyon by a head in 1:04.66.

"In a case like that, you can kill your chances by rushing your horse so I just tried to let him get his legs under him and save ground," winning jockey Jason Lumpkins said.

"Honestly, I thought we were running for second or third, but when I started tagging him right-handed at the quarter pole, he took off. We were flat-out moving."

Trainer Jeff Bonde, who said the colt had a virus two weeks ago, said, "He's a talented colt, who reminds me a lot of Epic Honor. He doesn't do a lot right, but he has a lot of talent, and he's really bred to run longer."

Mr. Technique, third in his debut, has now won two straight stakes and has earned $61,670.