Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Bribon returned to action with a sharp 2 3/4-length win on the Saratoga turf in a $100,000 optional claiming allowance Aug. 9 (VIDEO).
Bribon, sent off as the slight favorite in a field of eight, won the $62,000 one-mile event in an outstanding time of 1:33.69, just off the track mark of 1:33.42 established by L'Oiseau d'Argent in 2004.
The 6-year-old French-bred had previously won a couple of turf races in France and made his U.S. debut on the Saratoga turf in a stakes. But his best American efforts, including a half-length victory in his last start, Belmont's Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on May 25, have come on dirt.
Trained by Robert Ribaudo for owner Marc Keller, the gelded son of Mark of Esteem has now won three races in a row.
Ridden by Alan Garcia, Bribon was held up at the rear of the pack before advancing a bit along the inside on the final turn. Garcia was forced to check in traffic in upper stretch before finding room between horses approaching the final furlong. Bribon swept past multiple graded winner Tizdejavu in deep stretch and won going away.
Tizdejavu, ridden by Julien Leparoux, held second by 2 1/4 lengths over 41-1 shot Riversrunrylee and Pedro Gonzalez, who set the pace. Second choice Tam Lin, a grade II winner for Godolphin Stable, faded to seventh after pressing the pacesetter into the stretch.
Bribon, who paid $6.30, $3.90 and $3.20, earned his ninth win in 28 starts and boosted his earnings to $772,807.