Voodoo Dancer Settles in for Del Mar's Palomar

(From track report)
Voodoo Dancer, with assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul in the saddle, took a 6-furlong tour of the main track Thursday morning preparing for Sunday's 49th edition of the $150,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

The 4-year-old filly, who will be making her second start at Del Mar and fourth in Southern California, arrived Wednesday afternoon from the Saratoga base of trainer Christophe Clement and went to the barn of Ben Cecil.

Lorieul, who will saddle Voodoo Dancer in Sunday's Palomar, said he would give her a little longer run on the track Friday. In her first try at Del Mar, Voodoo Dancer, who is a length and a nose away for four victories in four starts this year, finished fourth to Golden Apples in the 2001 Del Mar Oaks (gr. I), beaten by 2 1/4 lengths.

In her first foray in Southern California, the daughter of Kingmambo captured the Flawlessly Stakes at Hollywood Park May 28 of last year.

Her wins this year have come in the Beaugay Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct and the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. She was beaten by a nose by Tates Creek in her most recent race, the Diana Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga, and finished third to Astra and Starine in Hollywood Park's Gamely Handicap (gr. I) May 27.

Voodoo Dancer is expected to face a solid slate of local candidates headed by Janet, a multiple graded stakes winner, owned by Jed Cohen's Red Baron's Barn and trained by Darrell Vienna. In her most recent start, a front-running Janet was passed in the final few jumps and finished a close third to Affluent and Golden Apples.

Voodoo Dancer's connections no doubt are happy with the knowledge that neither Affluent nor Golden Apples will be around Sunday. Both of those fillies have posted wins over the Clement trainee.

Also committed to the Palomar are Blue Moon, who finished second to Voodoo Dancer in the Locust Grove; Eurolink Raindance, I'm the Business, Old Money and Palace Royale.