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Love to Tell Lulls Rivals in Bayou Handicap
NEW ORLEANS, La. (February 21, 2009) - Lucas Downs Ltd.'s Love to Tell changed tactics and caught rivals napping for a wire-to-wire win in the $125,000 Bayou Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Love to Tell, who had pressed early pace in her victory in the Pago Hop Stakes here on Dec. 6, took the field through extremely modest early fractions of 26.79 and 54.73. She completed about a mile and an eighth over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course, with the rail out 20 feet, in 1:56.48.
The 2 1/4-length tally completed a training triple for Love to Tell's conditioner Mike Burgess - the first of his career, and the latest milestone of a breakthrough meet for Burgess, who scored his first-ever Fair Grounds stakes win 11 weeks ago in the Pago Hop.
"She can come from off the pace or go to the lead," said Burgess, "but when you see a half-(mile time) of 54 you'd better be on the engine. When I saw that split I said ‘Okay - we're gone!' "
Love to Tell, with Justin Shepherd up, paid $17.60, $9 and $5.80 and increased her career earnings to $214,173 with her fifth career win in 14 starts.
Mizzcan'tbewrong finished second, returning $11 and $6.80, while two lengths to the good of Sharbat and Nans Joy, who dead-heated for third paying $3.60 and $2.60, respectively.
Racing resumes Sunday 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.