08/28/2003 12:00AM

Charming Jim stretches out in Seacliff


MIAMI - The Affirmed and Susan's Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes will command the most attention on Saturday's "Baby Day" program at Calder. But the $50,000 Seacliff Stakes has drawn the deepest and most talented field, and may prove the best of the six stakes on the 13-race live card.

The most accomplished member of the field for the one-mile Seacliff is Charming Jim, who returns home off a third-place finish over a sloppy track in Monmouth Park's Grade 3 Sapling Stakes. In his previous outing, Charming Jim battled local division leader Sir Oscar from start to finish before dropping a neck decision in the Criterium Stakes.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. for owner Jamie Carrion, Charming Jim will be stretching out around two turns for the first time in the Seacliff and must prove he can go a mile. In contrast, two of his main rivals, Hopefortheroses and Tap Dancer, have already won at the distance.

Hopefortheroses is by Fortunate Prospect out of Mia's Hope, which makes him a half-brother to two-time Grade 1 winner Hal's Hope. After breaking slowly and finishing fifth in his career debut, Hopefortheroses stretched out to a mile two weeks later and posted a wire-to-wire 1 1/4-length decision over Tap Dancer. Hopefortheroses will race on Lasix for the first time in the Seacliff.

Tap Dancer flattered Hopefortheroses's maiden victory and showed promise of his own when he bounced back to win two weeks after their meeting. Tap Dancer won his maiden by 10 lengths while earning a career-best Beyer of 77.

A son of Sword Dance, Tap Dancer could prove the major beneficiary should Charming Jim and Hopefortheroses, along with stretch-out sprinter Twice as Bad, get involved in an early speed battle.

Second of June is the most inexperienced of the major contenders in the Seacliff, but he may ultimately prove to be the most talented. A son of Preakness winner Louis Quatorze, Second of June overcame a poor start and eventful trip to win his debut going seven furlongs, and he gives the impression that he will get better the farther he goes. Leading rider Manoel Cruz will be aboard Second of June for the first time Saturday.

The $50,000 Lindsay Frolic is the filly counterpart to the Seacliff, and it came up on the soft side.

None of the nine 2-year-olds in the Lindsay Frolic has run two turns or won more than a single race. Velma Kelly is the only member of the field who is undefeated, having won her debut by four widening lengths. A negative is that she must stretch out from 4 1/2 furlongs to a mile.

Jules for A.J. may be the slight favorite off her second-place finish in a first-level allowance on Aug. 17. Pick of the Pack must also be respected, coming in off a career-best effort and as one of only three members of the field - along with Queen Geraldine and Malindi - to have won at seven furlongs.

Queen Geraldine was an impressive debut winner, then was overmatched when beaten 19 1/2 lengths by French Village in the Desert Vixen division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

Both the $50,000 Herecomesmybaby Stakes and its filly counterpart, the $50,000 Catch a Rising Star Stakes, will be decided at five furlongs on the turf. Both races drew full fields.

The undefeated Wynn Dot Comma, perfect in two starts and bred for the turf, looks like the one to beat in the Herecomesmybaby. Peace Symbol, an easy seven-length winner of her turf and career debut at Colonial Downs, figures to be the overwhelming favorite in the Catch a Rising Star.