Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. saved the best for last during the select session of its August yearling sale Aug. 25.
Grand Couturier, winner of the 2008 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT), has been retired from racing.
During the seventh session of Keeneland's Sept. yearling sale, prices were stronger than the corresponding session of 2009
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.
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.
Favored Bribon used a huge sweeping move on the turn to open a big lead in the stretch en route to his first graded stakes win in the $110,000 Westchester (gr. III) April 29 as Belmont Park opened its 2009 spring/summer meet.
If his last race is any indication, Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air should be set up for a big run in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) on March 14 at Gulfstream Park, a race that has been shortened from 1 3/16 miles to one mile this season.
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).
Marc Keller's Grand Couturier scored his second consecutive grade I win, coming from off the pace to post a resounding victory in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park.
Marc Keller's Grand Couturier had to check under Alan Garcia at the top of the lane, but re-rallied, split horses in mid-stretch, and drew clear to win the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) for the second consecutive year Aug. 16 at Saratoga. Better Talk Now finished second, followed by Interpatation.
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