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Bribon and jockey Alan Garcia take their walk down Victory Lane after the 2009 Metropolitan Handicap
The $600,000 Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (G1), popularly referred to as the "Met Mile", is the traditional Memorial Day feature at Belmont Park, featuring top older horses and some 3-year-olds going 1 mile around 1 turn of the main track. After Mr. Fantasy scratched out, a field of 12 went to post on a sunny holiday afternoon before just 10,099 paying spectators, with Bribon sent off as the 3-1 favorite, exiting a win in the Westchester Handicap after a fourth place effort in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. In to challenge the French-bred included 7-2 second choice Smooth Air, winner of the Gulfstream Park Handicap last out after finishing second in the Tallahassee, and 6-1 third choice Mr. Sidney, winner of the Maker's Mark Mile on the turf at Keeneland.
Bribon leads on the outside in the stretch with Smooth Air second
This was trainer Robert Ribaudo's first Grade 1 victory on dirt. His first Grade 1 victory came on turf in Saratoga's 2007 Sword Dancer Invitational with Marc Keller's Grand Couturier, who won that race again in 2008. Bribon is also owned by Keller.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 11 Bribon Garcia 8.30 4.60 3 60 2 Smooth Air Lopez 3.90 3.20 12 Driven by Success Dominguez 9.10 Winning Time: 1:34.15 $2 Exacta 11-2 32.20 $2 Trifecta 11-2-12 318.00 $2 Superfecta 11-2-12-9 1,987.00
Left: Bribon in the winner's circle.
Right: Bribon circles after the race. Winning trainer Robert Ribaudo said, "There was no reason not to run him. The horse was doing good, this was the logical spot to run him and it's a credit to the horse. Everybody likes to save ground and come through, but this horse has run all his races circling (the field). You know it might not be the best way, or the shortest way home, but he's very comfortable doing that and it worked out great today. A mile is a great distance for him, but it's a great time to give him a break now. There are no mile races left - nothing of any consequence. Maybe we'll come back in Saratoga at 7/8. He's as strong now (as he ever was) and maybe a little better. He's got no choice (as a 6-year-old gelding), he's going to be around for awhile."
Left: Bribon returns to the barn after winning the Met Mile.
Right: Bribon heads out of the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Alan Garcia said, "I had a good trip all the way around. I didn't want to be too far back. At the 1/4 pole, my horse put his head down and ran. I'm happy to win my second Met Mile in a row!" Garcia won last year's renewal aboard Divine Park.
Left: Second place finisher Smooth Air in the paddock before the race. His jockey Paco Lopez said, "He was positioned good, ran good. Second best." The 7-2 second choice raced back in fifth early, split horses on the turn, gained the lead with 1/2 a furlong remaining but could not hold off the winner late. The Bennie Stutts trainee improved his record to 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 15 starts, earning $1,052,200 for owner-breeder Mount Joy Stables.
Right: Third place finisher Driven by Success after the race. The 12-1 shot sprinted clear on the rail exiting the chute, set a fast uncontested pace under jockey Ramon Dominguez, and maintained his lead for the first 7 furlongs before tiring in the final furlong to finish third beaten 1 1/2 lengths. The Bruce Levine trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 9 starts, earning $213,121 for owner Repole Stable.
Full results chart
Left: Redefined in the winner's circle.
Right: Redefined returns after the race.
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