11/08/2004 1:00AM

Sliding Home could pay swift dividend


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The opportunities to run on the grass this year in New York are dwindling, so it's no surprise that Wednesday's lone turf race on the card drew an overflow field.

Ten horses drew into the body of the first-level allowance race, with three horses on the also-eligible list. Three additional horses were entered main-track-only in the allowance, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and older that goes as the eighth on the card.

Wednesday's card features a $36,875 pick six carryover.

One of the main contenders is , who was claimed out of his last start for $100,000 by trainer Pat Reynolds and owner Paul Pompa Jr. Sliding Home, a 3-year-old son of Grand Slam, won his maiden in his ninth start for his prior connections, Flying Zee Stable and trainer Phil Serpe. In his next race after his maiden win, Sliding Home ran in the $100,000 claimer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Belmont Park on Sept. 22, and finished a solid fourth.

Jose Santos rides Sliding Home, who drew post 8.

The winner of the race in which Sliding Home was claimed was Prep School, who ran back in the Paterson Stakes at The Meadowlands and finished fifth after being blocked on the far turn of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Like Sliding Home, is a closer. Eibar Coa has the call on Prep School, who drew directly to the outside of Sliding Home.

, coupled in the wagering with Soaring Away, looked promising in his career debut on the grass at Gulfstream in February when he finished second behind the well-regarded Shakespeare. Statesman, who is trained by Jim Bond, hasn't run since April, when he won a dirt race by four lengths in a pokey 1:41.63 for a mile.

came from last in a nine-horse field to finish fourth in his last start after encountering traffic problems in the stretch. Since that race on Oct. 9, Soaring Away has had a couple of solid works.

drops back in distance and gets an equipment change to blinkers on. With the addition of blinkers, Abrasive Stone could show more early foot, which would be an asset in what appears to be a paceless race on paper.

If he draws in off the also-eligible list, Mumble Jumble will be a serious contender. In six of his seven starts this year, Mumble Jumble has finished in the top three.