06/05/2005 11:00PM

Deputy Cures Blues off career-best effort

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Deputy Cures Blues ran the race of her life in her first start for trainer Jody Hammett on May 20, when she won a six-furlong optional claimer with a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. A repeat of that powerful performance would be good enough to take Wednesday's $125,000 Ballade Stakes at Woodbine, but is such an effort in the cards?

Deputy Cures Blues, 5, won the Lady Angela Stakes early in her 3-year-old campaign before going into a prolonged slump. The best she could manage in her next 12 starts was a trio of third-place finishes, and after getting last winter off, she was turned over to Hammett.

Hammett said she believes Deputy Cures Blues is ready for a strong effort Wednesday.

"She's been training better than she did going into that race," Hammett said, referring to Deputy Cures Blues's last start. "When I got her this year, she had three [problems]: she was a bad bleeder; she wouldn't eat - she would lose weight and conditioning fast; and she used to run down. This year, I breezed her every two weeks to try and avoid the bleeding, and it seemed like everything else I did with her was perfect. She never bled once. I scoped her after the race, and she never bled then. She's maintained her weight and has been eating more aggressively now than she did going into that race. She's in great form."

Hammett predicted another speed try from Deputy Cures Blues in the Ballade. Simon Husbands has the mount.

Among the others entered in the six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired fillies and mares are Believe in Missy, Roman Romance, Kissed by a Prince, and Vroom Hilda.

Roman Romance and Kissed by a Prince, both closers, should be the main beneficiaries if a rapid pace duel develops between Deputy Cures Blues and the swift Believe in Missy.

Roman Romance won a six-furlong allowance just 10 days ago at her Fort Erie base. Her chances in the Grade 3 Hendrie Handicap on May 15 were compromised by a slow pace and a speed-favoring track, and she finished fifth.

Kissed by a Prince has been absent since running seventh in her season opener in the Whimsical Stakes, a six-furlong event that yielded next out winners Nashinda, Kabul, and Big Cheque.

Vroom Hilda was claimed for $40,000 here last fall before ending up in New York with her current trainer, Scott Lake, who has never started a horse at Woodbine. She went down and then back up the claiming ladder during the winter, winning four races at Aqueduct.