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Master Plan Wins Thursday FG Feature

NEW ORLEANS, La. (February 5, 2009) - Edmond and Sharon Hudon's Master Plan used front-running tactics to capture Thursday's $44,000 Fair Grounds allowance feature by a length from the favored Blackberry Road.

The winner, trained by Mike Stidham and patiently ridden by James Graham, paid $13.60, $5.60 and $3.80, covered the one mile and 40 yards in 1:41.93 after early splits of 24.73 and 49.19 and increased his career earnings to $51,435 with his second win from eight lifetime starts.

Blackberry Road, runner-up in last season's Grade III Lecomte Stakes here, returned $3.60 and $2.40 while finishing a neck farther back was Mythical Pegasus, who paid $2.60 to show. Mythical Pegasus is a full brother to the 3-year-old Flying Pegasus, who is the 6-1 third choice on the morning line for Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Risen Star Stakes as Fair Grounds.

Racing resumes Friday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program and a first post time of 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.