04/30/2002 11:00PM

'Voodoo' in Beaugay on final Big A card; Belmont opens next


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Voodoo Dancer, a winner of four stakes last year, including the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap, has been assigned 119 as the highweight for Sunday's $100,000-added Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Grade 3 Beaugay is the closing-day stakes at Aqueduct. Racing shifts to Belmont Park on Wednesday.

Trained by Christophe Clement, who won the Beaugay in 1994 with Cox Orange, Voodoo Dancer will make her 4-year-old debut in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Clement said Wednesday there is a possibility he also will enter Ing Ing, who was assigned 116 pounds. Ing Ing, a group winner who ran in France last year for Clement's brother Nicholas, won an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in her last start.

Others pointing to the Beaugay, the first filly and mare turf stakes in New York this year, are Babae (116); Cozzy Corner (116); Golden Corona (115); Salty You (114); Tippity Witch (114); and Peanut Gallery (113). Shopping for Love (115); Nouvelle (114); and Sluice (114) are listed by the racing office as possible to start.

Warners in Withers

Saturday's $150,000 Withers, a mile race for 3-year-olds, is the next stop for Warners, the runner-up of the Bay Shore Stakes.

Warners, the likely Withers favorite, worked a half-mile Tuesday at Belmont Park over the main track in 47.18 seconds, handily.

Others considered probable for the Grade 3 Withers are Carey's Gold, Fast Decision, Listen Here, Lord ofthe Thunder, Monthir, and Regal Sanction. Shah Jehan, who was scratched from the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs last Saturday, is also possible.

Marasca: Texas-bound, skips Withers

Trainer John Kimmel said he is passing the Withers with Marasca, the winner of the Aventura Stakes in his last start, for bigger bucks in Texas.

Marasca will leave New York on Tuesday for the $500,000 Lone Star Derby, a Grade 3, on May 11.

"I think he'll be very live in that spot for three times the money," Kimmel said. "I didn't want to turn him back to one turn after three two-turn races. Now is the time to try a mile and an eighth."

Marasca won the 1 1/16-mile Aventura at Gulfstream Park on April 6, defeating the Tampa Bay Derby winner, Equality, by 1 1/4 lengths.

Sharp Performance recuperating

Sharp Performance was in stable condition on Wednesday after suffering serious ligament damage in both his forelegs during the running of last Saturday's Fort Marcy Handicap.

Trainer David Donk said Sharp Performance, who is recuperating in his stall at Belmont Park, was on a minimum of pain medication and had regained his appetite.

"He's doing as good as he possibly can," Donk said.

Stay wins first juvenile race of year

Racing for 2-year-olds usually begins in New York in mid-April, but this year's first juvenile race was held on Wednesday, a couple of weeks later than usual, because races written before then failed to fill.

Four fillies ran after five scratches in the 4 1/2-furlong race. The winner was Stay, the 4-5 favorite who set the pace under Richard Migliore.

Stay, trained by John Terranova for Sovereign Stable and Gatsas Stables, is by Crafty Prospector and was bought for $77,000 as a yearling at Keeneland.

Stay ($3.60) covered the distance in 53.58 seconds over a fast track. Watcherstrut, the second choice, had a tough trip and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Stay.

* A soft course knocked out grass racing again on Wednesday. Since April 22, turf racing has been held only twice. More rain was expected to fall overnight on Wednesday, which could jeopardize Thursday's two grass races.

* Big A fans will receive a commemorative 128th Kentucky Derby drinking glass with each paid admission on Saturday while supplies last.