09/22/2001 12:00AM

Sugar N Spice looking nice


MIAMI - A surface that has favored outside closers and the prospect of a legitimate pace could be the combination that finally puts Sugar N Spice back in the winner's circle in Monday's $35,000-added The Nany Stakes at Calder Racecourse. The Nany drew a field of seven filly and mares going 6 1/2 furlongs.

Sugar N Spice has been winless since capturing Hialeah's Gold Beauty Handicap on March 17. She has made five subsequent starts, all in stakes, with her best efforts a third place in the Grade 3 Princess Rooney Handicap and a fast-closing second behind speedy Flying Birdie in the Cassidy Handicap earlier this month. Those efforts indicate that Sugar N Spice is back on top of her game.

Sugar N Spice earned Beyer Speed Figures of 89 and 90 for her last two starts, just a few points below her seasonal best of 94, posted in the Gold Beauty. Those numbers compare favorably with her chief rivals in the Nany, Tour Hostess and the 3-year-old Valid Forbes.

Tour Hostess finished strongly to check home a head behind Sugar N Spice in the Cassidy. She, too, has gone five straight starts without a win. Her latest victory was in a seven-length allowance here June 5.

Valid Forbes turns back to a sprint after disappointing efforts going two turns in the Nancy's Glitter and Judys Red Shoes handicaps. The winner of last year's Florida Stallion Series, Valid Forbes turned in her best effort this season when she finished second to Precious Feather in her first start off a long layoff June 17 in the six-furlong Born Famous Handicap. She earned an 84 Beyer that day, but her best Beyer was the 99 she scored when she won the six-furlong Desert Vixen Stakes at 2.

Vague Memory, a winner of five of eight starts this season, including the Vivace Handicap on Aug. 17, has posted her two best Beyers of the year (91 and 85) when loose on the lead, but she does not figure to have that luxury in The Nany, with Too Many and Not in Order in the field.

*The choice for September Jockey of the Month was an easy one, and it was all but sewed up by the 10th day of the month. Apprentice Charlene Hunt won four races on a card twice in four days. She received her honor following the third race on Saturday.

"I've got a new outlook towards things and am happy to be home," said Hunt, 26, who spent three months this spring and summer in New Jersey before returning to Calder in mid-July. Despite missing almost two months of the meet, Hunt entered the weekend just three wins out of the top 10, with 31 victories.