11/13/2002 12:00AM

Red Power continues comeback

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ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer John Buc has a special place in his heart for Red Power, who makes his second start Friday at Golden Gate Fields since having what Buc called "a little chip" removed from his knee in February.

Red Power will meet six rivals in a six-furlong $40,000 starter allowance race Friday. Among them is Michael's Wolf, who finished second ahead of Red Power in his comeback race.

"You're never sure when they come back, but he ran a really good race," Buc said of a fourth-place finish on Oct. 25 at Bay Meadows. "The ground broke from underneath him, and he was wide all the way."

Red Power is half-brother to stakes-winning Reds Superstar, and Buc sees many similarities between the two.

"After this race, I'd like to stretch him out," Buc said. "I'd like to follow the same path as the other horse. He got better when we stretched him out."

Reds Superstar, a son of Falstaff out of Red Weather, won the Alamedan Handicap at Pleasanton and the Governor's Handicap at Sacramento last year, showing both speed and staying power.

Buc believes Red Power, a son of All Thee Power out of Red Weather, will be equally effective with a similar style while routing.

Who's ready?

The day's feature race is a 4 1/2-furlong turf sprint with a pair of interesting comebackers.

Sarigor drew post 2, while Santano drew post 4 in the field of six $32,000 claimers.

Santano has not run since finishing fifth to Sarigor in a similar race at Bay Meadows in May while Sarigor has been on the sidelines since a dull June 30 race at Hollywood Park.

Santano is 5 for 6 at the distance and undefeated in four starts over the Lakeside Turf Course.

Sarigor is 2 for 3 here with a second and has never run worse than second at the distance, with four firsts and a pair of seconds.

Santano has blazing speed and has to be caught but doesn't seem to want to go much farther than 4 1/2 furlongs.

Sarigor is a stalker who has won his past two starts at the distance.

The question for handicappers is: Which horse is ready? Is it Sarigor, with five works and one bullet since Oct. 11, or Santano with six works and two bullets since Oct. 3?

Should both fall short, Tony's Royalty, who drew the rail, is coming off a wire-to-wire score at the distance.

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