08/16/2001 11:00PM

Red-hot I'm Free one to beat


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - I'm Free will be looking for his fifth stakes win of the meet in the $35,000 Mr. Prime Minister, and six 2-year-olds, none of them stakes winners, will square off in the $35,000 New Westminster Stakes at Hastings Park. The two Sunday races are at 6 1/2 furlongs.

I'm Free, trained by Henry Miller Jr. and Beverly Green, has won four of the five stakes at

the meet. His lone blemish in stakes competition was a second to Diglett in the 6 1/2-furlong Klondike Stakes May 19. I'm Free is shortening up after winning three straight stakes at 1 1/16 miles and will face plenty of other speed, while packing highweight of 123 pounds. Mark Patzer rides.

Smokin Finish is coming back in just seven days after an easy win over $50,000 optional horses Aug. 12. "I'm not crazy about running him back so quickly, but he can have a good rest after this race," trainer Frank Barroby said. His win last weekend was his first since setting the Nursery Course record of 39.79 seconds.

Godolphin Road figures to be one of the ones battling for the early lead. He comes off of a good second to I'm Free in the Stallion Stakes Aug. 5.

While I'm Free looks to be a solid choice in the Mr. Prime Minister, the New Westminster shapes up as a wide-open affair.

Full Gainer will probably be a slight favorite off of his come-from-behind win over straight maidens in his debut July 28. Nevertheless, Potato Lad was an impressive winner on the Nursery Course back in May and worked a very sharp 6 furlongs in 1:12.60 Aug. 13. He is likely to attract some attention.