11/01/2007 11:00PM

Miss Macy Sue done for year

EmailSTICKNEY, Ill. - Miss Macy Sue shipped late last month from Hawthorne to Monmouth Park, where she finished a good third in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. However, her return trip from New Jersey went to Kentucky, rather than back to Chicago, and Miss Macy Sue won't race again until next season, her trainer, Kelly Von Hemel, said Friday morning.

"Everything's good with her," Von Hemel said. "She came out of the race great. We'll give her some time off and get her ready for next year."

Miss Macy Sue will be turned out for "a couple months" before shipping into Oaklawn Park, Von Hemel said. That's where her 2006 campaign began, with blowout wins in minor stakes races, and Miss Macy Sue's year turned into a doozy. She wound up with 5 wins from 7 starts and earnings in excess of a half-million dollars, which all in all is not bad for a female sprinter.

In the Breeders' Cup, she broke ninth from the fence, which led to some traffic problems, but Miss Macy Sue still acquitted herself well, finishing strongly and beating all but two horses.

"I thought she gave it a great effort," Von Hemel said.

It's a long way off, but next year's Breeders' Cup will be run over Santa Anita's synthetic main track, and that could be a good thing for Miss Macy's Sue: Her lone appearance on a synthetic track produced a three-length win in the $400,000 Masters at Presque Isle Downs in September.

DiVito pair back at Hawthorne

The two horses trainer Jim DiVito saddled in Breeders' Cup undercard races last weekend at Monmouth failed to show their best, but both Piratesonthelake and West Coast Coach returned to Hawthorne no worse for wear. Plans for the two, however, remain up in the air, DiVito said.

West Coast Coast got embroiled in a hot speed duel in last Friday's Favorite Trick Stakes, and actually did well to finish fifth of 10, beaten just more than three lengths. The race marked the third start and first loss for West Coast Coach, who may still start again this season.

"He's a tough little booger," DiVito said Wednesday morning. "We had to take him to the track today."

Piratesonthelake had won the Arlington Sprint and the Kentucky Cup Sprint coming into last weekend, but he was an even fourth as the mild favorite in Saturday's Select Stakes.

Meanwhile, crack sprinter Coach Jimi Lee basically is ready to make his first start since May 19, when he won the Waterford Park Handicap at Mountaineer in his only 2007 race. Sidelined with a splint bone injury, Coach Jimi Lee has turned in a series of progressively impressive workouts, the most recent a powerhouse six-furlong gate drill in 1:12.60 on Wednesday.

"That should tell you something about where he is," DiVito said.

Cloudy's Knight's plans undecided

Plans remain fluid for Canadian International winner Cloudy's Knight, who is stabled at trainer Frank Kirby's Hondo Ranch in Maple Park, Ill.

Kirby said Cloudy's Knight connections declined an invitation to the Nov. 24 Japan Cup.

"That's a little close, and he's already run nine times this year," Kirby said.

Cloudy's Knight, however, may yet start again in 2007; Kirby mentioned the Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 8, and the Dec. 15 McKnight Handicap at Calder as possibilities. Last winter, Cloudy's Knight went to Fair Grounds, where he won the Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup and came within a half-length of winning the Mervin Muniz, Louisiana's most important grass race.

Cloudy's Knight, who captured the $2 million Canadian International on Oct. 21, will be 8 on Jan. 1, but he has raced only 32 times and just now has found career-best form.

"There's no reason at all he can't be just as good or better next year," Kirby said.

Kirby has another good grass horse in his barn, too, with Ciao - the sharpest turf allowance winner at this Hawthorne meet - still on track for a start in the Nov. 10 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs.

Wide-open turf sprint draws 10

The turf sprint officially has arrived at Hawthorne. In meets past, Hawthorne carded the rare five-furlong grass sprint, but this season, the turf-sprint distance has been increased to 5 1/2 furlongs, and the races have been showing up with regularity. Horsemen certainly have responded positively to the new item on the menu - such as in the featured eighth race Sunday, where 10 were entered in an entry-level allowance at 5 1/2 on the grass.

It's a tough race to figure, too, since the entire field has combined to notch exactly one win on turf. The lone horse with a grass breakthrough is Jenna Lu Hu, who two starts ago won a seven-furlong $16,000 claimer over the Euro-style Kentucky Downs course.

Toclosetothemusic hasn't won a grass race, but has come close many times, with 4 second-place finishes in 5 turf starts. She turns back in distance from grass route efforts and could be a factor coming from just off what figures to be a quick, contested pace.