11/17/2005 12:00AM

Versatile Charming Socialite goes in sprint


The versatility Charming Socialite has shown this year left his connections a difficult decision over for Saturday night's Texas Champions Day card at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston.

Charming Socialite is a stakes winner on dirt and turf and at different distances, indicating he could be competitive in the program's $100,000 Star of Texas at 1 1/16 miles, the $50,000 Richard King Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf, or the $50,000 Spirit of Texas Sprint.

"He's a trainer's dream, because you just put him in [any] race and he'll run," said Bill Pettit, who co-owns and trains Charming Socialite.

In the end, Charming Socialite was sent into the Spirit of Texas, where he will have a showdown with Nuttyboom. The six-furlong race is one of eight stakes worth a cumulative $475,000 on what is the richest card of the meet at Sam Houston.

Charming Socialite is one of the best Texas-breds in training, and in his last start he defeated open company in the $40,000 Buffalo Bayou at 1 1/16 miles on turf Nov. 5. After that race, the decision was made for him to sprint.

"He ran real hard to win the Buffalo Bayou, and I hated to go back and run another mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth in two weeks' timeframe," said Pettit. "And, last year, he did win the Spirit of Texas."

Charming Socialite was a multiple sprint stakes winner at 3, and this year at 4 has broadened his horizons with two stakes wins in turf routes and two stakes placings in dirt routes. He will be ridden by Larry Taylor, and should race on or near the pace, said Pettit.

Nuttyboom returns to Sam Houston, where he has run two of the biggest races of his career.

He won an optional claiming allowance sprint last December, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 104, and in March equaled that number when he was second by a nose in the $40,000 Spring.

"He sure takes to it down there," said Ralph Irwin, the Louisiana Downs-based trainer who manages Nuttyboom. "You'd have to be inclined to think that the surface is definitely to his liking."

Bobby Walker Jr. has the mount Saturday.

Northern Scene in Richard King

Northern Scene can remain perfect in Texas-bred company with a win in the Richard King. He is the 123-pound highweight for the race following his near course-record performance in his Texas-bred debut in the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame at Retama on Oct. 1.

Northern Scene is versatile, and could get a stalking trip Saturday.

"He can really be anywhere," said Morris Nicks, who trains Northern Scene. "He's won races from wire to wire or from way out of it."

Slewpy's Storm in Martanza

Slewpy's Storm, who won a stakes by more than five lengths the last time she raced against Texas-breds, is the one to beat in the $75,000 Martanza. The one-mile race for fillies and mares drew a field of seven, including Shons Secret for Irwin and This Man's Darling.

Slewpy's Storm last faced statebreds in the $100,000 Allen Bogan Memorial at Lone Star on July 9, winning the one-mile race with a sweeping move on the final turn. One start later, Slewpy's Storm defeated open company in the $50,000 Delicada at Louisiana Downs. Trainer Brent Davidson has given the mount to Taylor.

* Lake Mac Mac and Upstream, who finished a neck apart in a division of the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, meet again in the $50,000 Groovy for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs. In the other 2-year-old stakes on the card, Kathy's Rocket bids for her second straight stakes win in the $50,000 Bara Lass.

* Claudia's Agenda was a stakes winner the last time she raced with Texas-breds and she will return to those ranks for the $50,000 San Jacinto.

* Shannons Valentine, who has placed in three recent stakes against open company, moves back to the Texas-bred ranks in the $50,000 Yellow Rose.