11/22/2007 12:00AM

French filly approaches a crossroad

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - The results of Saturday's $100,000 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park will determine where the French filly Macellya races in the future.

If she wins the Grade 3 Miesque, for 2-year-old fillies over a mile on turf, she will return with trainer Xavier Nakkachdji to France and run in that country's major stakes next year. If she loses, owner B. Wayne Hughes has told Nakkachdji that Macellya is likely to stay in California.

"We'll find out which country she likes best," Nakkachdji joked on Thursday morning.

Macellya is part of a 12-horse field. She faces six stakes winners, including Sea Chanter, the winner of the Epitome Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park; La Mina, the winner of the Hidden Light at Santa Anita; and Runforthemoneybaby, who won the California Cup Juvenile.

Macellya beat maidens in her debut in August and returned to finish third behind males in the Groupo3 Prix Thomas Bryon on soft turf at Saint-Cloud on Oct. 13. Race winner Thewayyouare returned to win the Group 1 Criterium International in France on Nov. 1.

Nakkachdji said Macellya will prefer the firm ground of a California turf course and may have been compromised by a soft turf in her last start.

"I don't think she could have beaten the winner, but she could have run better on firm ground," he said. "She's got a good turn of foot."

Macellya was expected to leave quarantine on Friday, a day before the race. Nakkachdji said that is of no concern to him.

"She's sparkling and I don't see any reason for her to run a bad race," Nakkachdji said.

Runforthemoneybaby is making her turf debut. Trainer Jeff Mullins is confident that Runforthemoney-baby can handle the surface, considering that she is by Unusual Heat and is a full sister to the turf stakes winner Spenditallbaby.

"You look at her breeding and her sister and it's a no-brainer," Mullins said.

To have a chance to win, Mullins wants Runforthemoneybaby to "leave there relaxed."

The most accomplished fillies in the field are Set Play and Sea Chanter. Set Play, who is making her turf debut, won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in September, but was unplaced in the Oak Leaf Stakes and BC Juvenile Fillies.

Sea Chanter has raced on turf five times. She won her first stakes in the Epitome over yielding turf.