SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Barry K. Schwartz’s Voodoo Song, the unofficial king of Saratoga last year, returned with renewed vigor on Saturday to wire the field and take his biggest score yet in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga.
Breaking sharply from post 6 under Jose Lezcano, Voodoo Song beat fellow speed horse Heart to Heart to the lead heading into the first turn and quickly separated himself while setting brisk splits of :23.53 and :46.89. Nearing the far turn, the field began to close the gap, and as the field hit the top of the stretch, Voodoo Song looked like he was in trouble. The Linda Rice trainee refused to yield, however, and dug in gamely while Delta Prince challenged along his outside. The two separated from the group in the final stages, but at the wire, it was Voodoo Song by a neck in a final time of 1:35.96 for the mile-long race over the inner turf course.
“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.”
A late run from Divisidero was enough to place him third by a length over Made You Look and 2 lengths behind the top pair. The 9/5 favorite Yoshida was never able to find open space and finished a disappointing fifth, in the end outrunning only a fading Heart to Heart. Weekend Hideaway was entered as Main Track Only and did not run.
Voodoo Song’s win was his fifth in as many tries at The Spa, his second straight following the $150,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes last month at Belmont Park, and his first in a Grade 1 event. The 4-year-old son of English Channel now carries a record of 16-8-2-1 with a lifetime bankroll of $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 exciting to come back. What do you do next? Win the Fourstardave. It’s just fantastic.”
Voodoo Song returned $15.40 to win, $6.60 to place, and $4.60 to show. Delta Prince brought back $4.30 to place and $3.30 to show, while Divisidero paid $4.90 to show.