06/20/2005 11:00PM

Show Boot's turf trial is over

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ELMONT, N.Y. - A switch back to the main track and a return to New York-bred company could get Show Boot back to his usually consistent form.

The 4-year-old is one of five entered for the $50,000 Take Me Out Stakes, the six-furlong feature Thursday at Belmont Park.

Trainer Tim Hills experimented with Show Boot last out by running him in a seven-furlong grass race on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Show Boot flashed his customary speed but faded badly to finish ninth.

"We ran him on the turf because his mother liked the turf," Hills said, referring to Show Boot's dam, Miss O'Keefe. "She was stakes-placed on the turf."

Hills said that Mike Smith, who rode Show Boot in the turf race, "told me he switched leads 50 times going down the backside. He definitely did not move up on the turf."

The return is "a little quick," Hills said, but "this was a fairly inviting spot."

The six-furlong distance was also appealing: Show Boot is 4-2-3 in 10 starts at the distance.

"He's a fighter," Hills said. "He's not afraid of a speed duel. He gets out there every single time he runs and slugs it out."

Eibar Coa gets the mount.

"He's doing well with the mounts he's getting," Hills said. "He's one of my favorite riders, and we've done well together."

Show Boot carries 119 pounds, four fewer than the top-weighted Clever Electrician, who makes his first start since finishing second in the statebred Hudson Handicap at Belmont last fall.

Trained by Bruce Levine, had won two straight, also in New York-bred stakes, before the Hudson.

West Virginia, from the Todd Pletcher barn, carries 120 pounds. He has been training and racing with Pletcher's Delaware Park division, where he ran fourth in a one-mile allowance race over a wet-fast track in his lone start of the season.

A versatile 4-year-old, has won statebred stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. He suffered a head loss in last fall's Empire Classic.

Legislature was assigned 116. He cruised to a 6 1/2-length win against open company last time out in a starter allowance at Belmont for trainer Mike Hushion.

Karakorum Patriot gets in at 112. This will be the stakes debut for the 5-year-old gelding, who was third last out in a Belmont allowance race.