Selva, On the Menu Meet in Tuesday's Mardi Gras Stakes

NEW ORLEANS, La. (February 22, 2009) - Helen Alexander and Helen Groves' Selva and Brereton Jones' On the Menu, each coming off runner-up finishes in stakes company, head a field of nine 3-year-old fillies in Tuesday's $60,000 Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Selva is the slight 9-5 choice in the Mardi Gras morning line and On the Menu is the early 2-1 second choice in the Mardi Gras, which will be contested at about 5 1/2 furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course. The sprint headlines the only Tuesday racing program of the season in the Crescent City.

In the Tiffany Lass Stakes here Jan. 10, Selva made the pace before surrendering the lead to Just Jenda late, but continued willingly to be clearly second best.  As a 2-year-old, Selva went unbeaten in three starts, including wins in the Sorority at Monmouth Park and the Glorious Song at Woodbine.  Six-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado gets the mount in the Mardi Gras aboard the David Carroll trainee, who makes her turf debut.

In On the Menu's last start Jan. 16 in the Genesis at Delta Downs, she pressed the pace of the winning Southern Yankee but could not get by and missed by a neck.  Before that, the Larry Jones trainee won an allowance race at Fair Grounds by 7 1/4 lengths on Dec. 27.  Regular rider Gabriel Saez returns in the irons.

From the rail out, with jockeys and odds, the Mardi Gras field consists of She's Extreme, Jesus Castanon (15-1); Selva, Albarado (9-5); Mullins Beach, Jamie Theriot (6-1); Truly Lucky, James Graham (15-1); Queen Ernestine, E.J. Perrodin (10-1);  On the Menu, Saez (2-1); Fleet Streak, Corey Lanerie (12-1); Wives Tale, Brian Hernandez Jr. (12-1); and A Day for Dancing, Shaun Bridgmohan, (8-1).

First post on Fat Tuesday is 12:30 p.m. CST. As a result of the special Mardi Gras program, there is no live racing on Thursday of this week.

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.