Dancers Step to Lake George Wins
Photo: AP/NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Light Dancer paid $77 to win the first division of the Lake George.
Light Dancer and Voodoo Dancer made it a dancers' double Monday as the fillies took the first and second divisions, respectively, of the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga.

In the first division of the $100,000 race for 3-year-old fillies on the turf, Light Dancer came from last to win by three-quarters of a length over Owsley. At odds of 37-1, Light Dancer was the eighth choice of nine horses contesting the 8 1/2-furlong race. Partnered with jockey Mark Guidry, Light Dancer broke slowly and trailed the field after a half-mile was run by pacesetter Amaretta in :47.08. Amaretta, the 8-5 favorite, held onto the lead through the turn, then turned it over to Cozzy Corner entering the stretch.

Meanwhile, Light Dancer went wide, circled the field, and came up late for the win. Owsley, eighth in the early going, also ran up late for the place. Cozzy Corner kept up for third. The winner paid $77 and completed the course in 1:41.06.

"She ran like a champ today," said Guidry. "She had a big punch at the end. She was confident after the big win in her last race...It feels good to have a win up here against all the top riders."

Light Dancer was a $1,600 purchase by Barbara Criollo at the 1999 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August yearling sale. She was consigned by her breeder, J D Farms. Manuel Criollo now trains the daughter of Colony Light for Criollo, Bluestar Stable, and Lowenstein. The filly has won five of her 13 starts this year, including Delaware Park's Spicy Living Stakes.

Two races later, in the second division of the Lake George, bettors came closer to predicting the outcome before the bell sounded. Voodoo Dancer, the 4-5 favorite of the nine fillies in her division, hovered in the middle of pack as pacesetter Jewel of the North covered the first half-mile in :49.23. After three-quarters of a mile passed in 1:12.90, the pack had shifted, with Sadler's Sarah, an outsider at 42-1, leading, with Silver Tornado following closely in second.

Voodoo Dancer was gradually picking up steam through the turn, and as the field entered the stretch, she had the lead and was extending it further, even though jockey Jerry Bailey lost his whip at that point. Behind her the field appeared bunched, but as she accelerated through the stretch, it became clear they were fighting for second place. Voodoo Dancer cruised to a 4 1/2-length win under a hand ride from Bailey.

Sadler's Sarah, OK to Dance, and Silver Tornado duked it out for the place and show profits, and all three closed well to the wire. The results showed a nose separating second-place Sadler's Sarah and OK to Dance, and only a neck kept Silver Tornado off the board. The winner paid $3.70, and the 8-9 exacta returned $103.50. Sadler's Sarah paid $15.20 and $7.10 for place and show.

"My whip got caught in the saddle towel and it came out," Bailey said. "I thought Silver Tornado was going to be on the lead; still, I didn't think there was going to be a lot of pace. When Silver Tornado didn't make the lead, I knew the pace was going to be slow. It was nice that my horse could stay close and still have a good kick."

Voodoo Dancer won the Flawlessly Stakes in her last start at Hollywood park, and earlier this year won the Tropical Park Oaks at Calder Race Course. The 3-year-old has won five of her seven starts for Green Hills Farm. A $200,000 yearling purchase and a daughter of Kingmambo, Voodoo Dancer is trained by Christophe Clement, who said she could go next in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT), or the Garden City Breeders' Cup.

(Chart, Equibase)

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