Flame Thrower Scorches Best Pal Rivals
Photo: Associated Press / Benoit
Flame Thrower, under jockey Corey Nakatani, winning the Best Pal Stakes.
Gary M. Garber's Flame Thrower contested the early pace while four wide on the backstretch before displaying a burst of speed into the turn en route to a 2 3/4-length victory over fellow 2-year-olds in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes Wednesday at Del Mar. With Corey Nakatani in the irons, the Bob Baffert trainee completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.51. Trailthefox finished second, followed by Legendary Weave, Squirtle Squirt, Tannersmyman, E Dubai, and Cintegrity.

Over a fast track, Trailthefox, Squirtle Squirt, E Dubai, and Flame Thrower contested an opening quarter run in :21.97. Squirtle Squirt and E Dubai began to drop back as the winner accelerated into the turn, completing the half-mile in :44.82. As the field rounded the turn, Legendary Weave attempted to circle the field before flattening out while finishing a non-threatening third.

Flame Thrower (Saint Ballado--Metromane, by Metrogrand) was bred in Florida by Suzanne Collins and remained undefeated with the win. On July 26, he won his debut race at Del Mar by 3/4 lengths. Flame Thrower earned $90,000 for the win and returned $10.60 as the third choice in the seven-horse field. The $1 exacta paid $44.50. (Chart, Equibase)

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