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Spanish Highway finds road to victory in FSN

May 31, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo

Auburn, WA (May 29) - Spanish Highway showed his class on Memorial Day by snatching a win at the wire in the $40,000 FSN Handicap over Flamethrowintexan. The stakes victory was the second consecutive for trainer Bill Tollett at Emerald Downs as his filly Diamond Dollars won the $55,000 Federal Way Handicap May 21.

Spanish Highway broke from post three with Ken Tohill in the irons. Tohill was aboard the 5-year-old son of Cahill Road when he finished second in the Seattle Handicap, and the veteran jockey rode the gelding at Sunland Park when he won a pair allowance races earlier this year. Tollett flew the rider back to Emerald to ride in the FSN.

"I used him in New Mexico," Tollett said. "He knows when to let this horse move. If we can keep him coming all summer we might get lucky."

Tollett had considered not running the horse if the rain continued, but with clearing skies and a fast track the green light was given.

Spanish Highway sat off the pace as Flamethrowintexan and Flying Notes battled for the lead setting fractions of 21.60 seconds and 43.20.

In the stretch Spanish Highway moved outside of Flamethrowintexan and took the 6 -furlong race by a neck at the wire in 1:14.20. "This horse is a joy to ride," Tohill said. "I don't have to worry how the race sets up. It's just whether it's going to be a lucky trip or a little more work."

The multiple stakes winner Flamethrowintexan, ridden by Ricky Frazier, was running his first race of the year after completing last season with a win in the Sir Winston Churchill Handicap at Hastings Park.

"He just never saw him (Spanish Highway) until he got in front of me," Frazier said. "I was coming back to him, but I couldn't get him back running in time."

Spanish Highway pushed his head in front with a sixteenth of a mile remaining and Tohill knew he had a race. "That (Flamethrowintexan) is an impressive horse," Tohill said. "My horse kept his head in front, but that horse kept coming back at him. Spanish Highway wasn't going to let him (win)."

The FSN Handicap is the second leg in the Longacres Mile series. The next stop is the 11th running of the $75,000 Budweiser Emerald Handicap at 1 mile on June 18.

Spanish Highway paid $14.40, $7.20 and $4.40. Flamethrowintexan paid $7.20 ad $3.40 for second and Norm's Nephew returned $6 to show.

The complete order of finish was Spanish Highway, Flamethrowintexan, Norm's Nephew, Starbird Road, Wasserman, Court's in Session, Flying Notes, The Great Face, Demon Warlock, and Slewicide Cruise.