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Grand Couturier Wins US Gr1 Sword Dancer
Also in the US, 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) finished powerfully from last with 2 furlongs to run to comfortably win the US$500,000 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). Grand Couturier (ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Robert Ribaudo) scored by 2-lengths from multiple Gr1-winning evergreen 9YO gelding Better Talk Now (Talkin Man-Bendita, by Baldski) who won this race in 2004 & 6YO gelding Interpatation (Langfuhr-Idealistic Cause, by Habitony). 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 6 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 16 starts for US$860,100 earnings.