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Bear Now Top Choice in FG's Truly Bound Stakes

NEW ORLEANS, La (January 15, 2009) - Town and Country Farm's Bear Now, winner of the Grade III Kentucky Cup Distaff in September at Turfway Park, has been tabbed the 6-5 morning line choice for the 29th running of the $60,000 Truly Bound Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.

The race for older fillies and mares will be contested at 1 1/16 miles over the main track.

In her last trip to the post Oct. 24 in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, Bear Now made the pace but tired from her effort and finished eighth, well behind the victorious Zenyatta, a prominent candidate for Horse of the Year honors.

Now in the hands of New Orleans-born trainer Al Stall Jr., Bear Now also has claimed stakes wins in the Ontario Matron and Hill N Dale Stakes last summer at Woodbine and the $500,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap in 2007 at Philadelphia Park.

Bear Now has been assigned top weight of 122 pounds in the Truly Bound. Robby Albarado, one of three jockey finalists for the Eclipse Awards later this month, will break Bear Now from post position No. 5 in the six-horse field. Albarado is seeking his 100th Fair Grounds stakes win.

Rolling Sea, the early second choice at 3-1, figures to be the top challenger. After winning the Fortin Handicap at Fair Grounds by five lengths in March 2007, the daughter of Sefapiano went on to claim a pair of Grade II victories that season, the Distaff at Pimlico and the Chilukki at Churchill Downs. She is trained by Steve Asmussen, who is coming off a record-setting 2008 and is also an Eclipse finalist. 

From the rail out, with weights and jockeys, the Truly Bound field consists of Rolling Sea, 119, Shaun Bridgmohan; Tammy's Victress, 117, John Jacinto; Adrhythm, 117, Corey Lanerie; Final Refrain, 119, Ramsey Zimmerman; Bear Now, 122, Albarado and My Heavenly Sign, 117, Gabriel Saez.

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.