04/27/2005 11:00PM

Charming Kid up for Challenge

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GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Charming Kid has some qualities that suggest he could develop into a nice horse, and he will get his first chance to prove it Saturday when he makes his stakes debut in the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star Park.

The one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds is one of three undercard stakes supporting the Grade 3, $300,000 Texas Mile. Purses for the four stakes total $625,000, making Texas Mile Day one of the richest programs of the meet at Lone Star.

has made just three career starts. He won his maiden in his two-turn and turf debut in his second career start Feb. 26 at Fair Grounds. In the race, he defeated the well-regarded Colorful King, a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Colorful Judgement from the stable of Sam-Son Farm.

One start later, Charming Kid faced winners for the first time and finished third, 1 1/2 lengths back in an entry-level allowance on turf on March 26, also at Fair Grounds. He earned a Beyer Figure of 84, the highest turf number in the eight-horse Turf Challenge.

"He had about a 3 out of 5 lung infection that day, so he didn't run his best race," said Wes Hawley, who trains Charming Kid. "We had scoped him about a week before the race and he scoped clean, but when he ran we scoped him again because he kind of hung down the lane."

Hawley gave Charming Kid time to regroup, and in his final prep for the Turf Challenge worked him five furlongs in 1:01.60 on April 24. He will remove blinkers in an effort to make him more aware of his surroundings Saturday.

"The second time he ran, when he was running at something, he ran good, and then when he got past them, he just kind of got a little lazy on us," said Hawley.

Hawley looks for Charming Kid, a son of Lemon Drop Kid who races for Ike Thrash, to be close to the pace or race midpack on Saturday.

"I definitely think he's going to be a nice horse," said Hawley.

Jazzy Gallop, who has made all of his starts on dirt, will be exploring the turf side of his pedigree for the first time Saturday. In his last out, he was third in the $75,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn. He is a son of Victory Gallop and his dam, the French-bred Jasminola, won on turf. Trainer Steve Asmussen has given the mount to Roman Chapa.

Adding depth to the Turf Challenge are Smooth Bid, who was second to Storm Surge in the Grade 3 Lecomte; Reno Bob, who was second to Munificence in the $50,000 Sportsman's Paradise; and Major League, who returns to turf, site of the biggest win of his career.

Leaving on My Mind on a roll

Leaving on My Mind will attempt to win his third straight stakes in the Stymie division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile race is for 3-year-olds nominated to the stallion program, and it drew a field of eight, including Dixie Meister and General Charley.

Leaving on My Mind was up for a three-quarter-length win in the $40,000 Fort Bend County in his last start April 2, and that seven-furlong race at Sam Houston Race Park should have him sharp for the move back to two turns. The last time he raced at two turns he was a three-quarter length winner of the $40,000 Texas Heritage at one-mile at Sam Houston. Chapa has the mount for trainer Danny Pish.

* Asmussen trains four of the 10 fillies in the $125,000 Got Koko division of the Texas Stallion Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. Tizzy Girl and Berdelia will race as a coupled entry, while Timber Jones and Tuned In are separate interests. Asmussen's father, Keith Asmussen, bred Timber Jones and co-bred Tizzy Girl, and also bred two other starters in the race managed by other trainers: Ms Seneca Rock and Rockin' Kate.