05/02/2002 11:00PM

Voodoo Dancer wants it dry and firm


JAMAICA, N.Y. - More than six months and two season changes after it opened, Aqueduct closes it doors on Sunday, but not before the $100,000-added Beaugay, featuring Grade 1 winner Voodoo Dancer, is run.

Twelve fillies and mares entered the Grade 3 Beaugay, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Pleasant County is entered main track only.

Unrelenting rain has limited turf racing to a minimum at Aqueduct this spring. A drying and warming trend, which is expected to continue through the weekend, began on Friday. Jerry Porcelli, the track superintendent, said he expects the course to be soft to yielding on Sunday.

Trainer Christophe Clement said Voodoo Dancer, the likely favorite and 119-pound highweight, didn't care for a course with moisture in it when she finished seventh as the favorite in the Queen Elizabeth in October. Voodoo Dancer, a 4-year-old Kingmambo filly, hasn't run since then.

Wipe the Queen Elizabeth from Voodoo Dancer's record and she had a very solid 2001. She won the

Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup, plus three other stakes, run at three different tracks.

Clement, not one to talk up his horses, said, "She's fit enough to be competitive."

Jerry Bailey, who won the last two runnings of the Beaugay, and four overall, will ride Voodoo Dancer. Voodoo Dancer, who has tactical speed, drew post 10.

Babae, last year's Grade 3 Athenia winner, makes her debut as a 6-year-old for trainer Frank Alexander. Babae is a winner over firm and yielding courses.

"She runs good fresh," Alexander said. "I think she's even sharper this year than she was last year for her first race."

Babae finished second in an allowance race in her first start in 2001 after a similar layoff.

Babae, who should be prominent in the early going, drew post 3, and Jorge Chavez will ride

Trainer Pat Kelly said a too-soft course is not best for Cozzy Corner, who last year won the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland in a dead heat

at the Beaugay distance. In her

2002 debut, Cozzy Corner set the pace and tired to fourth in an allowance race on April 18.

"If that race didn't go, I would have run her first in here," Kelly said. "That race was a little early in her comeback. She only got to the barn the first of March."

Golden Corona, who won the allowance race in which Cozzy Corner finished fourth, makes her stakes debut. The Gulch filly has won her last two starts for trainer Joe Orseno, who won the Beaugay with champion Perfect Sting in 2000.

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