Voodoo had his final tune-up for Sunday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 over Belmont Park's muddy training track Wednesday morning. The son of Petionville owned by John Moore, Voodoo finished second behind Regal Shivers at 1-5 in the Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 10.
"I was disappointed in that race," said trainer Jimmy Jerkens. "I thought he would run better than he did. He's a rateable horse, that's why I was upset with him dragging (jockey Herbert) Castillo to the front. On a positive note, he kept on gamely for second. I think he deserves another chance against stakes horses.
Jerkens said Voodoo has been working in company with Dat You Miz Blue, a multiple New York-bred stakes winner who was clocked in 1:00 4/5 breezing.
"They were head and head this morning and Voodoo drew clear by a couple of lengths toward the end of the work and out-gamed her," Jerkens said.
Jerkens has also decided to withdraw Hobeau Farm's Put It Back from the Gotham.
Two top horses Voodoo will have to face are grade I-placed Scorpion and Marciano.
Mike Marlow, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, said Robert Baker's Scorpion arrived from Florida in good shape on Tuesday . The son of Seattle Slew worked five furlongs in 1:12 1/5 handily, at Gulfstream Park on Sunday. The colt won his lone start of 2001, wiring an allowance field going seven furlongs at the South Florida track.
Marciano, a multiple stakes winner at Laurel this winter, breezed five furlongs at Fair Hill, Md. on Sunday in 1:03, in preparation for the Gotham. The training track was listed as fast, but the "dogs" were up.
"It was a decent breeze around the dogs," said trainer Tim Richey of the Win More Stable charge. "They were out quite wide. It was the equivalent of breezing in about the seven-path.
Richey said Marciano would likely make the two-hour van ride to New York from the farm, near the Delaware border, on the morning of the race.
Post time for the Gotham is 4:40 p.m Eastern Standard Time and will be telecast live by espn2.