09/08/2007 12:00AM

Banjo Picker much the best


Banjo Picker ($5.40), left as the controlling speed following the scratch of morning-line favorite Secretintelligence, dominated the $60,000 Power by Far Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

Ridden by Tara Hemmings for trainer Steve Krebs, the 7-year-old Banjo Picker opened up a two-length lead through a half-mile in 43.74 seconds and widened his advantage through the stretch to finish 6 1/2 lengths in front of 10-1 shot Obi Wan following six furlongs in 1:08.74.

Power by Leigh, the 2-1 second choice, held on for third by a head over Sonvida Red.

Banjo Picker made contact with Leprechaun's Gold while veering in to gain position just off the rail shortly after the start, but an objection by jockey Harry Vega against the winner was disallowed by the stewards.

It was the 12th victory in 34 lifetime starts for Banjo Picker and his second straight victory in stakes restricted to Pennsylvania-breds.