Voodoo Dancer's Impressive Stretch Drive Wins Garden City

Voodoo Dancer's Impressive Stretch Drive Wins Garden City
Photo: Associated Press
Voodoo Dancer, in easy Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap triumph.
Voodoo Dancer bounced back from a disappointing loss in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) by drawing off to a decisive 4 3/4-length victory in the $244,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park on Sunday.

"She was a little unlucky in California," said trainer Christophe Clement. "I ran her back too quick in that race. She was a bit rank and she bled a little bit too, which could have made a difference."

Shooting Party was second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Wander Mom. Sheppard's Watch came home fourth, followed by Fiddle, Owsley, Ellie's Moment, Light Dancer, Mistic Sun, and Zonk.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani and carrying highweight of 120 pounds, Voodoo Dancer covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.69 on a firm turf course and earned $150,000 for Green Hills Farm. It was the fourth win in six starts this year for the 3-year-old filly. Voodoo Dancer has won six of eight career starts on the grass and finished second in another.

"Corey Nakatani rode her great today," said Clement. "She likes to wait, then she explodes. She's got a great turn of foot. Corey has been riding great for me all year long and I think he's a great rider. I might run her in the Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, gr. I)."

Voodoo Dancer (Kingmambo -- Zuri, by Danzig) returned $4.10, $3, and $2.40. Shooting Party, who raced coupled in the wagering with Fiddle, paid $8.70 and $4.60, while Wander Mom returned $3.30 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $33.40.

In the co-feature, Gold Mover came through along the inside to and beat Dat You Miz Blue by 2 1/2 lengths in the $108,400 Floral Park Handicap for fillies and mares three and up. Dat You Miz Blue led to mid-stretch before tiring to be second of six. It was another three-quarters of a length to Finder's Fee.

Gold Mover carried 114 pounds and Edgar Prado over six furlongs in 1:10.03 and earned $65,040 for Edward P. Evans. She paid $27.80 to win.

"You never know how they're going to run first time against older horses," said Rob Rader, assistant to trainer Mark Hennig. "She proved that she'll be able to run against some of them, anyway. I figured there'd be some speed for her to run at and she settled very well. She was on the Kentucky Oaks trail and then we turned her back to six furlongs in Maryland and she just wasn't herself. We gave her a little time and she came around really fast. She's trained like her old self and she ran today like her old self." (Charts, Equibase)

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