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Grand Couturier Eyes Third Sword Dancer

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Grand Couturier, winner of two consecutive editions of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer in 2007 and 2008, will make another bid for his third victory in the 1 ½-mile turf test on August 14. The 7-year-old son of Grand Lodge finished fifth in the 2009 Sword Dancer and was most recently seventh in the Grade 1 Man o’War at Belmont Park on July 10.

 

“He’s doing really well, we just need a little help with pace for him,” said Bobby Ribaudo, who trains the horse for Marc Keller. “We didn’t get that in the Man o’War, so we’re hoping for a big enough field to have a legitimate pace in the Sword Dancer.”

 

Ribaudo added that he would point talented sprinter filly Qualia for the Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina on the Travers Day undercard August 28.

 

Qualia most recently finished a head behind the Tony Dutrow-trained Rightly So in the Grade 3 Bed o’Roses at Belmont on July 5, which is run at the same seven-furlong distance as the Ballerina.

 

“I think Tony’s filly is going to run back there as well and we want revenge!” Ribaudo joked.

 

The Ballerina will be Qualia’s first start in Grade 1 company. Unraced at two, she broke her maiden at first asking as a 3-year-old at Belmont late last fall and has never finished worse than second in five starts since.

 

 

 

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