ELMONT, NY – Barry K. Schwartz’s Voodoo Song found himself on the lead early and refused to give it up late to wire the field in Saturday’s $150,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 4 under Manny Franco, Voodoo Song veered inward slightly just after leaving the gate, possibly because Blind Ambition stumbled out of the gate next to him. Voodoo Song’s inward break forced Offering Plan to pull up and saw him bump the even-money favorite Disco Partner before settling and straightening. Once he did, Voodoo Song quickly took the early lead while posting splits of :23.29 :46.30, and 1:08.94. Straightening for home, the rest of the field seemed to close in on the pacesetter, but none could quite close the gap. Though a five-wide wall loomed large behind him, Voodoo Song held off all challengers to win the mile-long turf event by a length in a final time of 1:31.67.
“The plan was to let him do what he wanted to do,” Franco said. “He went to the lead. I tried to slow him down a little bit and he did, it worked out. The last time, he went a little (fast); I figured this time, if I went around 46 (seconds for the opening 1/2-mile), that was my goal. He is game all the time. He always keeps trying. He gave me all he had.”
Projected was able to get up for second by a neck over Offering Plan, with Mr Havercamp a length back in fourth. Disco Partner flattened out late and took fifth by a head over Blind Ambition, while Pocket Change never fired and completed the order of finish.
Voodoo Song’s win was second in his last three starts and improved his overall record to 15-7-2-1. The Linda Rice-trained 4-year-old son of English Channel increased his career bankroll to $581,685.
Voodoo Song returned $12 to win, $6 to place, and $3.60 to show. Projected brought back $5.60 to place and $3.60 to show, while Offering Plan paid $3.20 to show.