08/22/2006 12:00AM

What's next for Mile winner?


AUBURN, Wash. - Flamethrowin-texan seemed to expend every ounce of his energy in his gallant victory in last Sunday's 71st Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. He had to dig deep to fend off a prolonged challenge from Papi Chullo, all the while absorbing repeated bumps from that rival, to prevail by a neck in 1:34.40.

If Flamethrowintexan was drained by his effort, however, he has remarkable powers of recuperation.

"He actually cooled out quickly after the race, and he seems to feel pretty good this morning," said assistant trainer Kay Cooper on Monday. "We can't find any ill effects from the race at all, not even from the bumping."

Cooper, the daughter of trainer Jim Penney, said Flamethrowintex-an will go to the family's nearby Homestretch Farm for a bit of rest and relaxation later this week. When Flamethrowintexan returns to the track, his brain trust - owners Paul and Lori Heist, Penney, Cooper and her husband, exercise rider Bryson Cooper - will get together to map out the remainder of his 5-year-old campaign.

Cooper mentioned two possibilities for the Mile winner's next start - the Grade 3, $125,000 B.C. Premiers at Hastings on Oct. 15, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Remington Green Stakes at Remington Park on Oct. 20. The B.C. Premiers is contested at 1 3/8 miles, while the Remington Green is run on turf at 1 1/16 miles.

"He loves the bullring at Hastings, and we don't think 1 3/8 miles would be too far for him," said Cooper. "On the other hand, we'd really like to try him on the turf. He is by a Gone West stallion, so he has some turf breeding."

Meanwhile, the Flamethrowin-texan team can rest on its laurels, which are considerable. Penney, an original inductee into the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, collected an unprecedented fifth win in the Longacres Mile. Flamethrowintexan himself became the leading money winner at Emerald with $358,728 in local earnings, including his $137,500 Mile prize. And jockey Ricky Frazier, who rode Flamethrowintexan to victory, capped a remarkable run that has taken him from near the bottom to near the top of the jockey standings.

Frazier had planned to ride at Hastings this season, so he spent all spring working horses in Vancouver to line up mounts. When he was denied permission to ride in Canada at the last moment, he returned here to rebuild his business from scratch. Frazier, who was the leading rider here in 2005 and finished second to Kevin Krigger last year, recalled seeing his name listed 15th in the standings a couple of weeks into the meeting. After his Mile win, he ranked in a tie for third in the standings with 54 wins, and sat atop the money won list with $871,589 in earnings.

"It has taken a lot of hard work, but I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish this season," he said.

Memorable moment for Mullens

The results of last weekend's other important races ensured that the Washington Cup Day card scheduled for Sept. 17 will have some noteworthy headliners. Washington-bred She's All Silk won Saturday's $100,000 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks at nine furlongs in wire-to-wire fashion, holding on to score by a head over heavily favored Chestnut Lady under a perfectly-judged ride by - who else? - Ricky Frazier.

The Oaks score was the first in a hundred grander and the first at Emerald Downs for 79-year-old trainer Pat Mullens, who summed up his feelings succinctly.

"What a thrill," he said.

Mullens will have a big chance to collect his second Emerald stakes win in the $40,000 John and Kitty Fletcher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on Washington Cup Day. Neither Chestnut Lady nor third- place Oaks finisher Sophie's Trophy is eligible for that race.

Sundays $100,000 Emerald BC Distaff for fillies and mares at a mile also went to a Washington-bred. Queenledo, who was named the top 3-year-old filly on the grounds last year, collected her first stakes win as a 4-year-old in spectacular fashion. Under Sandi Gann, she surged to the front on the second turn and drew out to score by 8 1/4 lengths over Karis Makaw in 1:34.80, just .40 of a second slower than Flamethrowin-texan's clocking.

"I sort of saw it coming, because she was coming off her best work of the year," said trainer Tim McCanna. "Sandi always asks her for something at the end of her works to see how much she has left, and for the first time this year she had a lot left. Then I worried I had done too much with her."

McCanna said Queenledo will go next in the $50,000 Belle Roberts Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on Washington Cup Day.

Report optimistic on Starbird Road

Starbird Road was scratched from the Mile with what appeared to be a hairline fracture in his right front pastern, but it now appears he may only have bruised a tendon sheath.

"The vets say if he had really cracked a pastern he would still be lame, but he's not," said trainer Sharon Ross. "The swelling has disappeared, too. We'll X-ray him in another week, and if the X-rays are clean we can still make the Chinook Pass Sprint on Washington Cup Day."

Starbird Road's presence would make the Chinook Pass the highlight of the fourth Washington Cup Day. The field also figures to include world record holder Sabertooth, 2004 Emerald sprint champ Slewicide Cruise, and current sprint sensation Westsideclyde.