01/20/2009 12:00AM

Killing Me seeks repeat

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NEW ORLEANS - Killing Me has been quite unpredictable in his 19 races. In the money nine times, he also has run poorly several times.

He ran on turf for the first time in his last race and he was the consummate professional, winning convincingly. His trainer, Frank Leggio, is hoping the turf will help end his Jekyl-and-Hyde tendencies.

He'll begin to find out in Thursday's seventh race, the first of three allowances at the Fair Grounds, as Killing Me returns at the exact same condition level he won at last time.

Killing Me will meet seven foes going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf in a $48,000 third-level allowance with an optional claiming price of $62,500.

"Was it a fluke, or did he take to the turf? That's what we want to find out," Leggio said. "We think he woke up on the turf."

In his Dec. 27 wake-up race, Killing Me went off at 17-1. He rated on the backside, moved up on the turn, and took over in the stretch, coming home 1 3/4 lengths in front of runner-up Mutadda, who returned to win the Gaudin Stakes on Jan. 10.

While there is the possibility that the new surface is the key variable, Killing Me has been prone to finding reasons to not run his best race.

"He's one of those bad luck horses, everything's got to go his way," Leggio said. "Certain things aggravate him, and if something isn't right in the gate, it blows his mind."

While Killing Me has a win at the distance and level, Deep Canyon is trying to rise again off his last win, also on Dec. 27. That main-track race was a second-level allowance going six furlongs.

Although Deep Canyon is winless in two tries on the turf, trainer Tim Glyshaw is actually more concerned about shortening up in distance.

"The turf wasn't our first choice, but the 5 1/2 furlongs bothers me more than the turf," Glyshaw said. "At the distance, he needs some speed in front of him, but no one wants to go to the lead on the Fair Grounds turf."

There are two horses with front-running tendencies in the field. Acting Zippy and Normandy Shore have both shown speed out of the gate, so a favorable pace scenario is a possibility for Deep Canyon.