09/07/2005 11:00PM

Fifth Overture goes for four in row

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fifth Overture, Woodbine's hottest female sprinter, should be strongly backed in Saturday's $163,500 Seaway Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint with Grade 3 status.

Fifth Overture has prevailed in each of her three starts at the meeting since shipping in from the United States, where she had a disappointing winter/spring campaign. After romping in an $80,000 optional claimer May 28, she landed her first stakes in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too, earning a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

Fifth Overture won the allowance prep for the Seaway with ease under a hand ride from regular rider Robert Landry. Her 6 1/2-furlong clocking translated into a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.

Trainer Eric Coatrieux described Fifth Overture as being very immature in her formative years. He said she has only recently begun to blossom.

"She had a chip in a knee at 2, so I had to ease up on her for a long time," Coatrieux said. "That was after her first race, and I never ran her again until the next year. She wasn't the same then - she was afraid to run.

"She's just come into her own this year. She knows what's going on now. She's not afraid of everything, like she used to be. She's the best that she's ever been."

According to Coatrieux, Fifth Overture worked five-eighths in 1:00 last Saturday at owner Chiefwood Stable's farm.

Among the other Seaway contenders are Silver Bird, Deputy Cures Blues, and Huntingthetruth.

Silver Bird ended a drought July 9, when she captured an $80,000 optional claimer by five lengths with a Beyer Figure of 95. Most recently at Monmouth, in the six-furlong Regret Stakes, she looked like a winner inside the eighth pole but was caught late by two rivals and wound up a close third.

"I think if she runs back to that last race at Monmouth, she'll be the horse to beat," trainer Reade Baker said.

The Seaway could be the final career start for Deputy Cures Blues, who is entered in Keeneland's November breeding stock sale, according to trainer Jody Hammett.

Deputy Cures Blues has won twice this year, her season opener in a $100,000 optional claimer, and the five-furlong Rainbow Connection Stakes on the grass at Fort Erie.

"She's doing good," Hammett said. "It would be nice to get her graded-placed."

Huntingthetruth, claimed for $80,000 from her penultimate race by trainer Frank Passero Jr., was a well-beaten second in the prep after getting away slowly.