09/01/2005 11:00PM

Power Wave returns for first race in nine months

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Power Wave, winner of his first four starts before injuring his knee in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue in November, will begin his comeback in Sunday's $70,000 Earlene McCabe Derby at Bay Meadows.

Sidelined nine months, Power Wave has earned bullets in his past four works.

"Hopefully, he'll be ready to kick butt, but I would have liked to get one more work into him," said trainer Michael Lenzini.

A multiple stakes winner, Power Wave has five rivals Sunday, including two other stakes winners. Wind Water won the San Mateo Stakes here last year and the Gregson Foundation Stakes here this spring. Thirsty Guy's won the Tacoma Handicap at Emerald Downs this summer.

won his first four starts last year at Turf Paradise, including the spring and fall runnings of the ATBA Sales Stakes. He then ran last, beaten 14 lengths by Declan's Moon, in the Hollywood Prevue, where he injured his knee.

Power Wave was sent to Idaho for surgery, and when he returned this year to Lenzini's barn in Phoenix, X-rays showed what appeared to be a chip in the knee. Power Wave was sent back to Idaho, but a scan of the knee showed he had a calcium deposit instead of a chip. Power Wave was given additional time in Idaho before rejoining Lenzini on the fair circuit in northern California.

Jockey Russell Baze said he was so impressed after working Power Wave that he sought the mount for this race.

Lenzini says Power Wave is still learning how to race and doesn't have a particular style.

"In the first race, he stumbled out of the gate and made a big run late," said Lenzini. "The next time, I told the jockey he didn't have much speed and to get him away from the gate, and he went wire to wire," he said, referring to Power Wave's 4 3/4-length win in the spring running of the ATBA Sales Stakes.

Power Wave pressed the pace and took over on the turn in his third start, an allowance race at Turf Paradise in October, then stalked before taking over in the lane in the fall running of the ATBA Sales Stakes.

Lenzini said drawing the outside post 6 is in Power Wave's favor.

"You want to sit there, and he can probably be where he wants without being pressured," he said.