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'Early' Returns to FG Winner's Circle on Presidents' Day

NEW ORLEANS, La. (February 16, 2009) -Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein's odds-on favorite Early Return drew off in the stretch for a four-length victory in the $46,000 sprint allowance feature Monday at Fair Grounds.

Trained by Steve Margolis and ridden by James Graham, Early Return captured his second straight win of the meet. He paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10 and increased his career earnings to $85,750 with his third win in seven starts. Early Return covered the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.86 in a race carded for the grass course but transferred to the main track because of weekend rains.

British Museum rallied well to gain the runner-up spot, returning $7.40 and $3, and Cool Hero paid $2.10 while 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third after setting early fractions of 23.45 and 46.51.

Racing resumes Thursday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 12:30 p.m.

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.