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Qualia Seeks Smooth Journey

Qualia, who had an eventful outing in her last race, finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga after shedding a shoe in the paddock, bumping with Pretty Prolific at the break and then having her saddle slip, continues to work well towards Saturday’s Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, trainer Bobby Ribaudo reported this morning.


“She breezed very well the other day, [4f, 48.10, September 12],” he said. “No signs of anything. We still have to get it out of our minds, the experience she had at Saratoga. But you never know until they go out and perform.”


The trainer said that Qualia will have a final tune-up either tomorrow or Tuesday for the 6 ½-furlong Gallant Bloom.


“This race will tell us if she’s back on track, and whether we can think Breeders’ Cup or not,” he said.


Ribaudo added that multiple Grade 1 winner Grand Couturier, who was not entered in today’s Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine after wrenching an ankle during a gallop on Thursday, is much improved but remains day-to-day.


“He’s about 90 percent now,” said Ribaudo. “He should be fine in a few days. If he is able to come back, you have the Knickerbocker [Grade 3, October 17, Belmont Park] and the Red Smith [Grade 2, November 6, Aqueduct] later on – those are the only two that make sense. But right now, it’s day to day.”


The 7-year-old Grand Couturier, who has earned more than $1.4 million, won back-to-back editions of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer in 2007 and 2008, took the Grade 1 Turf Classic Invitational in 2008 and also won the Grade 2 Bowling Green in 2009.




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