10/21/2002 12:00AM

French Riviera wins at big margin and price


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Three years ago, veteran trainer Larry Robideaux needed a disqualification to win the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland.

No such assistance was required Sunday. Robideaux watched in delight as French Riviera, overlooked at 19-1, sped clear at once from her far outside post and proceeded to dominate the Grade 3, $125,000 TCA Stakes, winning by 5 1/2 lengths over Don't Countess Out.

Away, part of a John Kimmel-trained entry favored at 8-5, finished third, a nose behind Don't Countess Out. La Galerie, the more well-regarded half of the Kimmel entry, finished last in the field of 10 fillies and mares.

Robideaux won the 1999 TCA with Cinemine, who was elevated from second on the disqualification of heavily favored Bourbon Belle.