Nine Former Champions Day Winners Return Saturday

NEW ORLEANS, La. (December 11, 2008) - Nine horses who have won during previous Louisiana Champions Day programs return to Fair Grounds in an attempt to repeat as the track plays host to the event's 18th renewal Saturday.

The 11-race Louisiana Champions Day card, exclusively for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses bred in Louisiana, offers $1.1 million in purses, headlined by the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

The day's highlight may be the $100,000 Champions Day Turf, with a projected duel between 2006 winner Desert Wheat and 2007 winner Willist.  Desert Wheat, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, is 4-1 in this weekend's Turf morning line, while Willist gets in that race at 12-1.

Last year's Champions Day Juvenile hero, Star Guitar, is expected to run in the $100,000 Sprint as the 7-2 morning line favorite.

Superior Storm, winner of the Champions Day Lassie last season, returns with the 9-5 morning line favorite's mantle in the $100,000 Ladies.

Tortuga Flats, heroine of the 2005 Lassie, is cross-entered but serves as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line of the Ladies Sprint.

Meteor Impact, winner of the 2002 Champions Day Juvenile and 2006 Sprint, has only made three starts since that victory two years ago and is 12-1 on the morning line of this year's Sprint.  Should Meteor Impact win Saturday, he would become the third Thoroughbred to win three times on Champions Day, joining Mr. Sulu and Dixie Poker Ace in that select company.

All three past Champions Day winners in the Quarter Horse ranks will meet in the $100,000 Quarter Horse Classic: 2007 Quarter Horse Derby winner Ab Hope for Cash, 2006 QH Derby winner Angelas Toast and 2007 Quarter Horse Classic winner Hesa Passem Magic.

Angelas Toast is the 5-2 morning line choice on Saturday, with Abs Hope for Cash the 7-2 second choice and Hesa Passem Magic at 20-1.

First post for Saturday's program is 12:30 p.m. CST.

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.