08/06/2009 11:00PM

Dr. V's Magic needs old spark


Trainer Dominic Galluscio sees improvement in Dr. V's Magic since the horse arrived at Saratoga late last month. A multiple stakes winner in 2007, Dr. V's Magic will ship to Finger Lakes to face four rivals Sunday in the $50,000 Genesee Valley Breeders' Handicap.

Galluscio hopes the change of scenery helps Dr. V's Magic recapture the magic of 2007.

"Since he got up here, he's been on the muscle," Galluscio said.

A 5-year-old with career earnings of $295,500, Dr. V's Magic will be aiming for his first win since the 2007 Empire Classic.

The 1 1/16-mile Genesee Valley, restricted to New York-breds, also attracted Brocco Valley, Hidden Expense, Tommasi, and Cody Grove.

The 2007 season was a banner year for Dr. V's Magic. In addition to the Empire Classic, he won a New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park and closed out the campaign with a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct.

In contrast, 2008 was a disaster. Dr. V's Magic needed ankle surgery in the spring and had a serious bout of colitis in the fall in a campaign limited to two starts.

Back in good health, Dr. V's Magic will be making his third start of 2009. He hasn't flashed the old zip yet, finishing fifth and sixth to Wishful Tomcat in a pair of statebred stakes at Belmont.

"He's feeling good," Galluscio said. "I hope he can get back to his old self. Last year really set him back, and sometimes it's hard for them to get back on track. I was hoping for an easier spot to get a win and get his confidence back."

John Davila, the leading rider at Finger Lakes, picks up the mount on the versatile Dr. V's Magic, who can set the pace, stalk, or rally.

"We have speed if we need it," Galluscio said. "He can also close. Davila should be able to work out a nice trip."

Tommasi and Brocco Valley are the other runners in the field with more than $200,000 in career earnings.

Tommasi most recently made a third a straight appearance in the $100,000 Wadsworth Memorial Handicap on July 4, finishing second to Sweetnorthernsaint. He was fourth in the 2007 Wadsworth to Funny Cide in the final race - and victory - for the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. Tommasi was third last year.

Brocco Valley has earned 12 of his 13 wins at Finger Lakes.