06/21/2004 11:00PM

Geronimo back home in turf dash


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Road trips for turf stakes on the East Coast did not work well for Geronimo and Slew's Prince over Memorial Day weekend.

was eighth in the Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

On Thursday at Hollywood Park, Geronimo and Slew's Prince are top contenders in the seventh race, a $50,000 allowance race over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. The field of seven also includes Tunder Ponche, who was third in the Harry Henson Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on April 21; and Seattle Borders, who is winless in three starts since the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in February.

Geronimo starts from the rail. Owned by a partnership and trained by Mike Machowsky, Geronimo, 5, is winless in five starts dating back to a one-mile allowance race at Santa Anita on Jan. 1. He has run well over 5 1/2 furlongs here in recent starts, finishing second in the Grade 3 Hollywood Turf Express last November and a game second to King Robyn in an optional claimer on April 23.

Geronimo does not have the speed to take the lead, a role that could go to Tunder Ponche, Wild Babe, or Slew's Prince.

Tunder Ponche is the only member of the field coming off a win. Trained by Mike Mitchell, Tunder Ponche, 3, won an allowance race against older horses over 5 1/2 furlongs by three lengths on May 22. In that race, he disputed the lead before taking over in early stretch. In his first start at the meeting, Tunder Ponche finished third in the Harry Henson Stakes.

Wild Babe, 3, won an allowance race on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on April 15 and returned to finish second in a one-mile allowance race on May 5. Thursday's race marks his first appearance against older horses.

Slew's Prince, 4, is best when he allowed to take advantage of his speed. Trained by Clifford Sise, Slew's Prince scored an impressive win in an allowance race over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on April 30, leading by six lengths in the stretch and by 3 1/2 lengths at the finish.

In the Turf Monster Handicap over five furlongs, Slew's Prince led to mid-stretch before fading to finish 5 1/4 lengths behind multiple stakes winner Abderian.