Grand Couturier, winner of the 2008 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT), has been retired from racing.
All eyes will be on Churchill Downs May 1 for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and its supporting stakes card, but Belmont Park offers an attractive program as well with a pair of grade III turf events.
Favored Grand Couturier got the soft going he appreciates and a solid pace to chase, helping him to his first win of the year in the $158,500 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park Sept. 13.
Grand Couturier heads into the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park Sept. 13 as the morning line favorite in spite of a fifth-place finish in Saratoga's Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) last month that left trainer Robert Ribaudo a bit perplexed.
With two previous winners of the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) slated to contest this year's running at Saratoga Aug. 15, it's safe to say the day will not be lacking in excitement.
Robert Ribaudo, the small-stable trainer of Grand Couturier, considers himself lucky in a sport of declining fortunes. One of his former owner got back into the racing game and now they have a solid contender in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
- By Claire Novak
In his last victory, the Aug. 11 Sword Dancer (gr. IT) at Saratoga, Grand Couturier hardly got the respect he deserved. That may change Oct. 27 in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
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