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Rolling Sea Wins Truly Bound, Keys Asmussen Six-Bagger

NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 17, 2009) - Keyed by Rolling Sea's 5 1/2-length win in the $60,000 Truly Bound Handicap, trainer Steve Asmussen tied his own Fair Grounds record by winning six races on Saturday's 10-race program.

Asmussen, who topped his own national record with 622 wins in 2008, originally set the single-day record on Dec. 22, 2007, on a program that included four stakes races.  Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan rode four of Saturday's winners, while Robby Albarado was aboard the other two.

"I don't think any one was surprising," said Asmussen. "They were all ready to run well today."

Asmussen's wife, Julie, and their three sons arrived here from Texas Friday night and joined the seven-time Fair Grounds leading trainer in the winner's circle throughout the afternoon.

In the Truly Bound for older fillies and mares, Rolling Sea took command in midstretch and drew off the rest of the way. She covered the mile and a sixteenth in a stakes record 1:44.05 and increased her career earnings to $735,545.  Rolling Sea paid $6, $2.60 and $2.10.

Odds-on favorite Bear Now was clearly second best, paying $2.40 and $2.10. Pacesetting Adhrhythm, 1 3/4 lengths farther back in third, returned $2.60 for the show spot after registering early splits of 24.09 and 47.59.

Four of Asmussen's wins Saturday came in maiden and allowance races for 3-year-olds.

Stonestreet Stables' Captain Cherokee broke his maiden in the one-mile opener while Asmussen-trained Fierce Lord finished second. Nuclear Wayne, also sporting the gold and burgundy Stonestreet colors, captured a first-level allowance optional claiming sprint in the sixth.

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Dumar was impressive capturing the eighth, a two-turn allowance optional claimer, with longshot Sunday Sunrise - another Asmussen trainee - finishing second.

The record tying win came from odds-on favorite Hightap, who took a one-mile maiden race for sophomore fillies in the day's finale.

Asmussen's other win was by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Dialect in a claiming race for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Asmussen, one of three nominees for the Eclipse Award for trainers in 2008, also won the final two races of Saturday's card at Oaklawn Park, including the American Beauty Stakes with Rated Fiesty.

Racing returns at Fair Grounds on Sunday 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.