05/11/2005 11:00PM

Barbara's spirits up after quick start


ELMONT, N.Y. - When trainer Robert Barbara saw the races that were written in Belmont Park's first condition book, he thought he could get off to a solid start at the meet.

In a racing rarity, it's worked out just as Barbara thought it would.

In the first seven days of the meet, Barbara has won 4 races from his first 9 starters. Considering he had gone 4 for 52 in the first four months of the year, it was a much-needed shot in the arm for him.

"I needed to get off to a good start," said Barbara, 51. "I had a bunch of good years, then I had a couple of bad years. I went through a divorce, a bunch of hell and aggravation, and I didn't have much stock. Sabine Stable has always been my main guy, and we didn't have much stock. This year, he put some nice horses in my barn, and we got lucky with a few. I've lost 25 pounds, I got fit, healthy, and happy. I'm doing great and wanted to get off rolling. I needed it."

Barbara's best year came in 1995, when he won 76 races from 418 starters and his stabled surpassed the $2 million mark in earnings. His worst year came in 2004, when he won just 16 races from 238 starters. Barbara has trained horses for 21 years.

On May 6, Barbara won a 2-year-old race with Union Course, a son of Dixie Union whom Sabine Stable purchased for $100,000 as a yearling in September. Union Course failed to meet his reserve price at the Fasig-Tipton sales at Calder in February, so Sabine bought him back.

Barbara said he is high on several of his 2-year-olds this year, including colts by Deputy Minister, More Than Ready, and Distorted Humor and a filly by Giant's Causeway out of the mare Win Crafty Lady, whom Barbara trained to a couple of stakes wins in the early 1990's. Win Crafty Lady has produced Grade 1 winners Harmony Lodge and Graeme Hall.

One of Barbara's eight wins this year came with the maiden Interpretation in the Palm Beach Stakes. After finishing fourth in the Forerunner at Keeneland, Interpretation came back to win an entry-level allowance race here Wednesday.

Barbara said he will look at several stakes options for Interpretation, including the Grade 3, $100,000 Hill Prince here June 10 as well as the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs on June 25.

Foreverness seeking redemption

From a speed figure standpoint, Foreverness ran the best race of his career when he was beaten a nose by Quantum Merit in last year's Kingston Handicap. The disappointment of that loss still lingers with trainer Greg Sacco, who will send Foreverness back to New York for Sunday's $100,000 Kingston for New York-breds.

Foreverness, who is based at Monmouth Park, is one of 14 horses being considered for Kingston, scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Foreverness, who is 3 for 7 at Belmont, has not run since finishing fourth in the Ashley T. Cole Handicap last September. Sacco said Foreverness came out of that race extremely sick and had to spend two weeks in the New Bolton Clinic near Philadelphia.

"He almost died on us," Sacco said. "He colicked and had a high fever."

After getting over his illness, Foreverness wintered at owner John Brunetti's Red Oak Farm in Ocala, Fla. He put in several workouts at a nearby training center before shipping to Monmouth last month.

"He's coming to this race as good as can be," Sacco said.

Jerry Bailey, who has had the most success on Foreverness, will be back aboard Sunday.

Irish Colonial, who won this race in 2003, is the 120-pound highweight. Others expected to run include Pa Pa Da, Certifiably Crazy, Golden Commander, No Parole, Peter's Puddles, Save the Profit, Thanasi, Sicilian Boy, Tomorrow's Champ, Don't Knock America, Rhumjar, and Rises the Phoenix.

My Lordship takes Voodoo Dancer

My Lordship took control in upper stretch and finished strongly through the lane to take Thursday's $60,850 Voodoo Dancer Stakes by three-quarters of a length over With Patience. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third to Asti, the 8-5 favorite.

Under Jerry Bailey, My Lordship stalked in third while Brunilda set fractions of 23.40 seconds, 47.21, and 1:10.97 before taking over turning for home. My Lordship covered the mile in 1:33.95 over a firm Widener turf course. Trained by Bill Mott for Live Oak Plantation, My Lordship returned $6.10 as the second choice.

* When Song of the Saints won Thursday's seventh race, it marked trainer Rusty Arnold's first New York win since Nov. 22, 2003. Arnold went 0 for 50 in New York in 2004.