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Grand Couturier Wins US Gr1 Joe Hirsch Turf
Ill-fated former Woodlands Stud shuttler Grand Lodge (Chief's Crown-La Papagena, by Habitat) added a Gr1 triumph when UK-bred 5YO entire Grand Couturier (Grand Lodge-Lady Elgar, by Sadler's Wells) notched his 2nd successive US Gr1 victory with a massive 10.25-lengths annihilation of his rivals in the US$600,000 Gr1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (12 furlongs on turf) at Belmont Park. Grand Couturier (ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Robert Ribaudo) defeated 6YO gelding Interpatation (Langfuhr-Idealistic Cause, by Habitony) & 4YO ridgeling Summer Patriot (Unbridled's Song-Rose Diamond, by Diamond Shoal). At his previous start, Grand Couturier won August's Gr1 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (12 furlongs on turf) at Saratoga for the 2nd successive year (after finishing 3rd in the same race in 2006). This season Grand Couturier (who began his track career in France) also finished 3rd in June's Listed Academy Award Stakes (10 furlongs on turf) at Belmont Park & overall now has 7 wins (also including 2006's French Listed Derby Du Midi over 2400m at Bordeaux, plus placings in 2007's US Gr1 Man O'War Stakes over 11 furlongs on turf at Belmont & 2006's French Gr3 Prix Noailles at Longchamp) from 17 starts for US$1,220,100 earnings.