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Weekend Prime Power review

In this space on Friday the Prime Power picks for the weekend at Calder, Arlington and Churchill, that were ranked the furthest clear of their competition were noted.

In all eight runners were tabbed with D'artagnan'sspirit, in race six at Calder on Saturday having, at 18 points, the biggest advantage over his rivals. On form the seven-year-old appeared to tower over this field but concerns were noted as to why D'artagnan'sspirit was taking a suspicious drop in class and had not raced for 428 days .However, these fears may have been negated some by the trainer, Kirk Ziade's 30 percent win rate with horses returning from layoffs. In the event, however, the concerns as to the gelding's fitness proved valid when he gave way after appearing a threat at the top of the stretch at odds of 1.50/1.

Red Rally was the clear, more than 10 point prime Power leader in race six at Churchill on Saturday. After showing early speed in his debut he tired to finish third but he did not stop this time, leading from start to finish returning $5.60.

In the marathon, one and three quarter mile, Polar Expedition S. at Arlington, Gangbuster was the 10 Prime Power selection. Returning to his preferred Polytrack surface after an unsuccessful turf try, Gangbuster was the strong 0.80/1 favorite but, while looming a threat heading for home he was unable to reel in Rumor Has It.

Having been the third choice on the morning line it was a little disappointing that St. Joe was backed down to be the 1.10/1 favorite in the seventh at Churchill on Sunday. As the eight point Prime Power it was not disappointing though when the four-year-old powered home first by three and a half lengths to return $4.20.

In the ninth race at Arlington on Sunday Princeville Condo was ranked seven points clear on the Prime Power and was the public's choice at 1.20/1. After enjoying a perfect trip in the one mile turf allowance the four-year-old took the lead in the stretch to win by a length rewarding his backers with a $4.40 payoff.

Tango Ridge went into the fifth race at Calder on Sunday with a record of seven third and two second place finishes from 19 previous starts but his Prime Power advantage of over seven points suggested that he had finally found a good spot to break his maiden. This proved correct when he drew off late in the stretch to post a two and a half length victory at the short price of 0.70/1.

Dottie Booth held a seven point advantage on the Prime Power in Arlington's second race on Saturday. However, the mare, who had been claimed off a second place finish at this level last time, had to settle for runner-up honors again when passed in the stretch as the 0.80/1 favorite.

In the morning line for Saturday's tenth race at Calder, Sailing Time was the lukewarm favorite. However, on the Prime Power the filly was rated six points clear of her nearest rival and the public bet her accordingly making her the 0.90/1 favorite. She did not disappoint with a seven and three quarter length romp paying $3.80.

While runners that are ranked six or more points clear on the Prime Power will seldom be sent off at huge odds, it is the win percentage that is eye-catching. Indeed, over a long period of time 46 percent of runners that fit into this category return winners. A stat that was exemplified by the five winners from the eight Prime Power selections listed above.

Tim Holland 6-29-09.