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May 29, 2009

Bribon wins Met Mile on Memorial Day


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Bribon, winner of the Westchester Handicap, rallied down the middle of the track to capture Monday's $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile) at Belmont Park. Last year's Met Mile was also won by the Westchester champ, Divine Park.

Ridden by Alan Garcia, Bribon was in the back of the 12 horse field through the early stages of the race. The six-year-old gelding began his move on the final turn just as his 3-1 co-favorite Smooth Air took the lead along with Riley Tucker.

Driven by Success, who set the pace up the backstretch and around the far turn, began to tire coming off the final turn. At the top of the stretch it was Smooth Air, My Pal Charlie and Riley Tucker on the lead. Driven by Success remained in contention along the rail.

Bribon joined the leaders with a furlong to run and edged his way to the lead. He posted a half-length victory over Smooth Air who won the Gulfsteam Park Handicap in his last start.

Driven by Success held on for third with My Pal Charlie finishing fourth. Completing the order of finish was Riley Tucker, Runforthedoe, Ready's Echo, Imperial Council, Famous Patriot, The Roundhouse, Mr. Sidney and Accredit.

The time for the Met Mile was 1:34.15 on a fast track.

Three-year-old colt Mr. Fantasy, winner of the Withers Stakes, was scratched from the Met Mile on Sunday with a temperature. He was the 6-1 third pick in the program.

Bribon returned $8.30, $4.60 and $3.60. Smooth Air paid $3.90 and $3.20, and Driven by Success paid $9.10 to show.

Owned by Marc Keller, Bribon earned $360,000 with the win and notched his eighth career victory in 27 starts. The gelding, trained by Robert Ribaudo, has career winnings of $735,607.

"In the back of our minds is his reputation for not being able to put two big races back to back," Ribaudo said prior to the race. "This is a race that you have to run in if you have the horse."

Bribon began 2009 with a 10th place finish at Gulfstream Park in the Hal's Hope Stakes. After winning an allowance race at Gulfstream he was fourth behind Smooth Air in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. He was able to grab the Westchester just four weeks ago.

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