06/12/2001 11:00PM

Dat You Miz Blue on a roll


ELMONT, N.Y. - Coming off the best performance of her career, Dat You Miz Blue aims for her initial graded stakes victory in Saturday's Grade 3 $100,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park.

Dat You Miz Blue, a 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Cure the Blues, has seven wins and five seconds from 15 lifetime starts. Her three losses have come in graded stakes, including a fourth-place finish behind Dream Supreme in the Grade 1 Test last July.

Dream Supreme will be the favorite in the Vagrancy, run at 6 1/2 furlongs over the main track.

Dat You Miz Blue is 3 for 4 this year, her lone loss coming in the Grade 3 Bed o'Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap. She bounced back from that effort to win a classified allowance by 6 3/4 lengths in the slop here on May 26, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 114.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens reasoned that Dat You Miz Blue ran poorly in the Bed o'Roses because she was coming back just two weeks after she romped in the Broadway Handicap. It was also her third start in a month.

Dat You Miz Blue had three weeks between the Bed o'Roses and the allowance race and the same time between the allowance and the Vagrancy. On Sunday, Dat You Miz Blue worked six furlongs in 1:16.07 over Belmont's training track.

"She went nice," said Jerkens, whose father, Allen, won this race five times. "We didn't want her going too fast. Usually, we let her do something the last quarter mile the day before the race; she has better wind that way."

Expected to join Dat You Miz Blue and Dream Supreme in the starting gate for the Vagrancy are Katz Me if You Can, Finder's Fee, and Lucky Livi.

Skiffington has new turf 'Package'

The Vagrancy shares billing on Saturday with the Grade 3 $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf. Trainer Tom Skiffington will be represented by Package Store, a recent addition to his barn.

Package Store, a son of the British- bred Mister Baileys, made a smashing turf debut in April at Churchill Downs, taking a preliminary allowance race by 4 1/4 lengths. Shortly thereafter, owner Elisabeth Alexander turned him over to Skiffington from Austin Smith.

"There's a better turf program in New York," Skiffington said.

Skiffington said he wasn't considering running Package Store in the Hill Prince until he saw a tape of the colt's turf race and then watched him work on the grass.

"He won under a hand ride, and when I worked him a couple of times on the grass he really, really impressed me the way he went," Skiffington said.

The Hill Prince is expected to attract the unbeaten Navesink and the stakes-winning Proud Man, as well as Perfect Stranger, Reluctant Groom, Sir Brian's Sword, Volponi, and Whitmore's Conn.

Plotting a course for his turf fillies

With defending female turf champion Perfect Sting out until fall - or possibly longer - Skiffington is trying to plot a campaign for his stakes-winning grass fillies Spook Express and Prospectress.

Spook Express, who won the Honey Fox and Suwannee River Handicaps at Gulfstream, is being pointed to the New York Handicap here on July 14. "I'd like to get one race in between," he said. "Where? I haven't got a clue."

Meanwhile, Skiffington said Prospectress, winner of the La Prevoyante Handicap in December, recently overcame a bout of colic that caused her to lose a lot of weight. The trainer said he would like to point her towards a fall campaign that may begin with the Diana Handicap at Saratoga on Sept. 3.

Esteemed Friend wins off layoff

Esteemed Friend, winner of the 1999 Grade 2 General George Handicap, made his first start in 25 months on Wednesday, taking a $20,000 claiming race by three-quarters of a length.

According to trainer Joe Imperio, Esteemed Friend suffered a bowed tendon when he finished fifth in an overnight handicap on May 19, 1999. Imperio said he tried to bring him back three times, but suffered several setbacks.

No one claimed Esteemed Friend, a 7-year-old gelded son of Gulch, obviously put off by the lengthy layoff and sharp class drop.

"Two years off, where am I gonna run him?" Imperio said. "I was never afraid to lose him. Who was going to take him?"