Voodoo Dancer Breaks Stakes Record in Locust Grove

Green Hills Farm's Voodoo Dancer took the lead inside the final sixteenth of a mile to win over Blue Moon by 1 1/4 lengths in Saturday's $168,900 Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the firm turf course at Churchill Downs. With jockey Jose Santos aboard, the 4-year-old daughter of Kingmambo covered the 1 1/8 miles in a stakes record 1:46.91 to erase the mark of 1:47.27 set by Behaving Dancer in 1992.

Voodoo Dancer raced in seventh early, which wasn't the way Santos envisioned the race unfolding before the gates opened.

"I thought we would break and she would lay third at the worst," said Santos. "Half of the field was searching for the lead after the break so I just laid back. Then when we came to the turn she came running."

Voodoo Dancer, trained by Christophe Clement, paid $3.60, $2.80, and $2.60 in the race for older fillies and mares. Blue Moon, ridden by California-based Brice Blanc, finished second and paid $5.40 and $4.20. Solvig, with Robby Albarado up, finished a head back in third and paid $4.80. Cozy Island, Snow Dance, Megans Bluff, Sitka, Cayman Sunset, and pacesetter Maltese Superb completed the order of finish.

Voodoo Dancer earned $104,718 to boost her lifetime bankroll to $665,588. The victory was her eighth in 13 career starts with six of coming in stakes company. Last year, Voodoo Dance won the Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for her only career grade I victory to date. Last time out, she was third in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT), finishing a length behind Astra with Starine second. Lazy E Ranch Inc. produced Voodoo Dancer from the Danzig mare Zuri. (Chart, Equibase)