08/13/2004 12:00AM

'Texan' preps for BC Derby

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AUBURN, Wash. - Flamethrow-intexan, the impressive winner of the 1 1/16-mile Seattle Slew Breeders' Cup Handicap in his last out on July 31, will tune up on Saturday for the Sept. 6 Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby.

Flamethrowintexan, a son of Way West from the barn of trainer Jim Penney, will meet five other 3-year-olds in a $32,000 optional claiming event going 1 1/16 miles in the day's sixth race.

Flamethrowintexan was claimed by owner Paul Heist from a win over $62,500 company at Hollywood on June 24. He arrived here with a record of 5 wins from 8 starts, all in sprints, then demonstrated his ability to get two turns with a front-running score in the Seattle Slew. Off that victory, he figures to go off as an overwhelming favorite Sunday under rider Gallyn Mitchell at 121 pounds.

Sharing the spotlight on Sunday is the third and final leg of the Harley H. Hoppe and Associates Marathon Series, which will be run at 1 1/2 miles under $10,000 starter allowance conditions.

The field of five includes both Duke of Kent, who won the nine-furlong leg of the series on July 16, and Big Bad Bue, who scored in the 1 1/4-mile leg on July 30. A victory by either of those two on Sunday will earn the winner's share of the $12,000 purse, plus a $1,000 bonus for his trainer. Frank Lucarelli trains Duke of Kent, while Sharon Ross is the trainer of Big Bad Bue.

Rounding out the marathon field are Nomistaken Kris, who ran third in the first leg of the series; Stone King, who ran third in the second leg; and Bollywood.