02/02/2006 12:00AM

Houston: 'Socialite' shortens break


Charming Socialite is not the vacationing kind. Scheduled for some time off this winter, he missed his job just weeks into his vacation, and has been back at Sam Houston Race Park working bullets for Saturday night's $40,000 Jersey Village Stakes.

"We tried to turn him out, but he didn't like that," said Bill Pettit, who co-owns and trains Charming Socialite. "So he just got three weeks off."

Charming Socialite, who was not scheduled to make his seasonal debut until March, will face stakes winners Agrivating General and Oncearoundtwice in the Jersey Village, a 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to horses bred in Texas. The race drew 10.

Charming Socialite last raced on Nov. 19, finishing third in the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Stakes at six furlongs at Sam Houston. One start earlier, he defeated open company in the $40,000 Buffalo Bayou at a 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Charming Socialite has worked consecutive bullets for the Jersey Village, going four furlongs in 48.20 seconds and five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Jan. 25. He has been working under regular rider Larry Taylor.

"I wish I had one more work in him, but I think it will be all right," said Pettit. "I'm looking forward to the race. Larry said he's better than he's ever been."

Charming Socialite is a winner of $299,510. The big spring goal for the horse is the Grade 3, $200,000 Connally Breeders' Cup Turf at Sam Houston on April 8. Pettit owns Charming Socialite with Paul Sutton.