04/17/2008 11:00PM

Trip north may help Grand Champion


Grand Champion's connections hope a return to the Northeast will result in a reversal of form when he heads a six-horse field entered in Saturday's $75,000 Allen's Prospect Stakes at Pimlico.

The Allen's Prospect, run at six furlongs, is one of three stakes to be run on the Federico Tesio undercard at Pimlico. The Allen's Prospect will be run as the fourth race.

Grand Champion, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Two Punch, ended 2007 with narrow victories in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap at Laurel in October and the Fall Highweight at Aqueduct in November.

In two starts at Gulfstream this winter, Grand Champion finished seventh in the Mr. Prospector Handicap and fourth in the Richter Scale.

"I don't know why he didn't do any good in Florida this winter," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said.

Grand Champion is well drawn in post 6 under Mario Pino.

Ravalo and Eternal Star loom the major threats. Ravalo has won 5 of his last 7 starts and is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap run over a sloppy Aqueduct inner track. He will break from post 5 under Jeremy Rose.

Eternal Star has won two consecutive races for trainer Michael Trombetta. He took advantage of a hot pace to win the 6 1/2-furlong Bensalem Stakes at Philadelphia Park last out after winning at seven furlongs at Laurel. Trombetta is slightly concerned about the six-furlong distance.

"If he has a hot enough pace and there's no real biases, he should run well," Trombetta said.

Cognac Kisses, third to Eternal Star in the Bensalem, Celtic Innis, and Forest complete the field.

Jim McKay: Eddie C. looks tough

Eddie C., beaten a nose in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial last out, looks to bounce back in the $75,000 Jim McKay Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Before the Johnson, Eddie C. had shown versatility winning a Jan. 30 allowance race at Laurel racing up front and taking a Feb. 21 allowance race at Laurel by rallying from eight lengths back. Jeremy Rose, aboard for those wins but not the Harrison E. Johnson, gets back on for the McKay, breaking from post 3.

Mint Slewlep romped to a seven-length victory in a third-level allowance race going seven furlongs at Laurel on April 3. He is 0 for 4 at Pimlico.

Powerful Touch, Etude and Saratoga Lulaby look like the other contenders in this eight-horse field.

Geisha: Real Property going good

The streaking Real Property will try to capture her first stakes win when she meets six fellow Maryland-bred fillies and mares in the $60,000 Geisha Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Real Property has won 5 of 7 starts since being reclaimed for $50,000 by trainer Graham Motion and Narrow Leaf Farm last July.

"She is just remarkably consistent," Motion said. "She's really surprised me. I think she's very honest."

Though she was beaten as the 1-2 favorite in a three-horse allowance race two back, Real Property probably didn't like being the early pacesetter that day, Motion said. She should be able to revert to her off-the-pace style in this field.

Trainer Mike Trombetta is putting blinkers on Spectacular Malibu, who stretches out from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, and expects her to be in front for as long as she can.

"I think they're going to have to catch her," Trombetta said.

Lexi Star, Take a Check, and Come Fly Away are other contenders.