updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

With his first starring role as the Woody Allen-ish misfit in the teen comedy Lucas, Corey Haim, 14, comes of age as an actor. "His talents don't seem to recognize limitations," gushed New York Post critic Rex Reed. Haim warmed up the past two years in movies such as Firstborn and Murphy's Romance. Twice he took to a wheelchair—as a boy fighting a werewolf in Stephen King's Silver Bullet and a child dying of muscular dystrophy in the TV movie A Time To Live.

A high-spirited youngster who admits he can be "a real brat," Corey lives in a suburb of Toronto; his father is a clothing sales rep and his mother is a computer operator. He started acting lessons at 10 and almost immediately landed work doing TV commercials. He did several episodes on the Canadian Edison Twins, a TV mystery series, before he won the part in Firstborn.

Haim, a ninth grader, comes on wiser than his years. He talks of former co-stars Teri Garr ("really hot"), Dee Wallace ("we're talking beautiful here") and Sally Field ("extremely gorgeous") as if they were old friends, phones James Garner "every time I'm in L.A.," and wants to make a picture with Sylvester Stallone, which he'd call Rambo III: The Son He Never Had. But his fondest dream right now is to get one of his ears pierced, like Rob Lowe and Tommy Howell. So far, his father has vetoed this faddish request but, after several weeks of cajoling, reports Corey, is "giving it consideration."

What with all the mint juleps and excitement surrounding the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Karen Easterday may go all but unnoticed to the 100,000-plus fans who will jam Louisville's Churchill Downs. Yet Easterday is vital to the day's events because if she doesn't blow the 34-note Call to the Post on her B-flat herald trumpet, the 112th Run for the Roses will never get started.

Easterday, a 21-year-old junior majoring in music at the University of Louisville and longtime horse racing fan, is thought to be the first woman racetrack bugler in the country. She made her debut at Churchill Downs last fall. For $70 per day, six days a week, she walks out to the presentation stand before each of the nine races and sounds that familiar melody. She uses the time between races to study or practice—she wants to go on to graduate school and plans to teach music after finishing at Louisville next spring.

The daughter of a school superintendent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Karen has been playing the trumpet since she was 11. She beat out six men for the Churchill Downs job. Easterday says she's not making a feminist statement by being the first woman bugler at a racetrack. "I'm a trumpet player," she says simply. "I auditioned and I was good enough to get it."

Will Easterday be nervous on Derby Day? Don't bet on it.

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