11/24/2007 12:00AM

Sea Chanter, Unusual Suspect win stakes

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Sea Chanter won her second turf stakes of the fall in Saturday's $113,200 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park, and that surface has defined her career - so far.

After the race, trainer Todd Pletcher said that Sea Chanter will be considered for the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes over the synthetic main track on Dec. 21.

"She trains well on the dirt," Pletcher said. "I'm not convinced she has to run on turf."

At the least, Pletcher and owner-breeders Robert and Janice McNair know that Sea Chanter is outstanding on turf.

In the Grade 3 Miesque, Sea Chanter closed from sixth to win her second consecutive stakes. She held off a late run from the French invader Macellya to win by three-quarters of a length, finishing a mile on turf in 1:35.84.

Golden Doc A and Set Play finished in a dead heat for third in the field of 11 2-year-old fillies.

Sea Chanter was ridden by Mike Smith, who kept her behind the pacesetters until early stretch.

"Coming from an outside post, we were hoping to get position," Pletcher said. Smith "had her nice and settled. She's an anxious filly. We've been working on trying to get her settled."

The winner of the Epitome Breeders' Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park last month, Sea Chanter has won 3 of 6 starts and $271,477.

Macellya was making her third start. She was ninth on the backstretch and was closing well through the stretch.

"She was a bit surprised when they took off at the half-mile pole," trainer Xavier Nakkachdji said. "She picked up well and finished strongly."

Nakkachdji said he would ask owner B. Wayne Hughes to allow the filly to return to France. Before the race, Nakkachdji said that Macellya would stay in California if she was beaten in the Miesque.

"I'm going to beg him to let her go back," Nakkachdji said.

Turf Express: Unusual Suspect goes last to first

Unusual Suspect recorded the most prestigious win of his career in Saturday’s $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express, avoiding the trouble that plagued several rivals in the stretch.

Rallying from last in a field of nine in the final quarter-mile, Unusual Suspect ($24.20) ran six furlongs on turf in 1:09.06, sneaking through between horses through the stretch under jockey Tyler Baze.

Bonfante, a 9-1 outsider, finished second, a nose in front of 10-1 Desert Code. The first five finishers were separated by a length.

Fast Parade, the 2-1 favorite, finished sixth and was disqualified and placed last for drifting out the through the stretch. The interference affected Desert Code, Quietly Mine, Night Chapter, T.D. Vance and Moth Ball.

Fast Parade set early fractions of 23.31 and 45.58 seconds. Unusual Suspect was 7 1/2 lengths behind Fast Parade on the backstretch.

Unusual Suspect won his third stakes and first graded race in the Grade 3 Turf Express. Owned by Barry, David and Dyan Abrams and trained by Barry Abrams, Unusual Suspect won the Bay Meadows Derby and California Cup Mile earlier this fall.

A 3-year-old colt, Unusual Suspect has won 6 of 19 starts and $469,136.