ELMONT, N.Y. – If any horse benefits from the extension of the Saratoga meet to eight weeks it’s Voodoo Song, who is 5 for 6 at the Spa including a victory in the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap last summer at Saratoga.
Voodoo Song, who has not run since last October, is training toward a return to racing, which will coincide with the Saratoga meet, which begins July 11.
On Sunday, Voodoo Song worked a half-mile in 48.21 seconds over the Belmont turf course. It was his second work since returning to trainer Linda Rice’s barn last month.
“He looks good, he’s doing well, he’s fresh, his two works have been good,” Rice said.
Voodoo Song had resumed training in April but had an issue with a hind leg that required stem cell therapy.
“It looks like he’s in pretty good shape,” Rice said.
Rice said she hopes to run Voodoo Song in the Grade 3, $150,000 Forbidden Apple on July 12. Voodoo Song won the Forbidden Apple last year when it was run at Belmont. The Forbidden Apple is one of three stakes that were moved to Saratoga due to the extended meet.
“We got a month to have him ready for the Forbidden Apple. I think it’s realistic that we’ll have him here,” Rice said.
Rice also put the three-time dirt stakes winner Blindwillie McTell on the turf Sunday and he breezed half-mile in 48.44 seconds. Rice worked him on the turf to see if the $150,000 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Stakes, a seven-furlong stakes scheduled for turf on June 23, would be an option for him. Rice doesn’t see a good dirt options for the 3-year-old New York-bred son of Posse.
“It’s either two turns on dirt at Finger Lakes” in the New York Derby “or seven-eighths on the turf,” Rice said. “I like [seven-eighths] better. I always thought he could handle the grass.”
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.