02/10/2007 12:00AM

Christmas Kid just as good on dirt


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Christmas Kid, whose breeding and race record suggests her future should be strictly on the turf, showed her versatility by switching back to the main track to register an impressive four-length victory over High Again in Saturday's $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The race was marred when 4-5 favorite Meditations was pulled up by jockey Rafael Bejarano a half-mile into the Grade 2 event.

Christmas Kid, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid out of a Green Desert mare, won two of her three starts on turf, including the Tropical Park Oaks at Calder, after launching her career finishing a well-beaten fourth on dirt. But trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Christmas Kid had been training so well over the main track at Palm Meadows since winning the Oaks on New Year's Day that he felt she deserved a chance in the Davona Dale.

"I've been watching her go in the morning and she's been working effortlessly," said Jerkens. "This was a Grade 2 race and when you have a horse doing that good you've got to give it a try."

Christmas Kid, ridden by Rene Douglas, stalked Pretoria Light from the outset. Christmas Kid gained a short advantage around the turn, forged clear in early stretch, then readily extended her advantage under pressure through the final furlong.

High Again took a run at the winner leaving the bend but proved no match while finishing a length in front of Lisa M.

Meditations was racing along the inside about five lengths off the lead when she suddenly dropped out of contention nearing the half-mile pole and was pulled up.

"She demonstrated lameness in the left front leg and returned in the horse ambulance for evaluation but it does not appear life threatening," said track veterinarian Dr. Mary Scollay.

Christmas Kid ($13.60), a homebred owned by Edward P Evans, covered the mile in 1:37.34.

Jerkens said he will likely keep Christmas Kid on the main track and try her in the meet's marque event for 3-year-old fillies, the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes, on March 10.