In a race where three of the six entrants were undefeated over the Saratoga turf, it was Voodoo Song who maintained that distinction with a wire-to-wire victory in Saturday’s $513,750 Fourstardave H. (G1).
Remarkably a winner four times during the 40-day Saratoga meet last summer, Voodoo Song made it five-for-five here.
“Who better to win the Fourstardave than a horse who is obviously a Saratoga star?” trainer Linda Rice said.
The possibility of a pace duel between Voodoo Song and multiple Grade 1 winner Heart to Heart did not materialize as the eventual winner was granted an uncontested lead under Jose Lezcano, albeit through splits of :23.53, :46.89, and 1:11.20 over a course seemingly more testing than the official designation of “Good.”
Voodoo Song opened up five lengths down the backside, but the lead was whittled down to a length in upper stretch. The only rival to challenge late was second choice Delta Prince, who cut into the deficit through the final furlong but fell a neck short while two lengths clear of Divisidero.
“He’s fast out of the gate and you always want to let him do whatever he wants to do,” Lezcano said. “That’s the thing with him, and he keeps going. I leave him alone, you don’t want to fight with him. The longer you leave him in the bridle, the better he is. I felt confident all the way around. Let him do whatever he wants to do.”
Owned by Barry Schwartz, Voodoo Song completed one mile in 1:35.96. He paid $15.40. After Divisidero came Made You Look, 9-5 favorite Yoshida, and Heart to Heart.
Claimed by his present connections for $40,000 from a winning effort at Saratoga last July 22, Voodoo Song won an allowance just four days later stepping up in trip from 1 1/16 miles to 1 3/8 miles. He won again on August 23 in another allowance, then won in the Saranac (G3) by a neck. He was subsequently second in the Commonwealth Derby (G3) at Laurel and fifth in the Hawthorne Derby.
Fourth and first in his first two runs of 2018 against allowance company, Voodoo Song weakened to third in the Poker (G3) and then captured the $150,000 Forbidden Apple at Belmont on July 14, running the mile in a swift 1:31 3/5. His record now stands at 16-8-2-1, $870,435.
“It’s very exciting,” Rice said. “It’s hard to move up on what he did last year here with winning four races. It was an unbelievable meet and so special to all of us. I think he got a lot of fans here by winning so many races at Saratoga, so it’s so exciting to come back.”
A four-year-old colt bred in New York by Stonewall Farm, Voodoo Song is by turf champion English Channel and out of the stakes-winning Mystic Chant, by Unbridled’s Song.
In the $100,000 Lure, multiple Grade 3 winner Inspector Lynley rallied late to win by three parts of a length over 2-1 favorite Projected. Also ridden by Lezcano, Inspector Lynley covered 1 1/16 miles on the the turf in 1:43.40 and paid $8.60 for owner Stuart Janney and trainer Shug McGaughey.