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Southern Sister Rules in Slop Sunday at FG

NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 18, 2009) - Grand Prairie Stables' Southern Sister took command in mid-stretch and drew off for a three-length victory in the $46,000 allowance feature for 3-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies Sunday at Fair Grounds.

Trained by Morris Nicks, Southern Sister was ridden by six-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado, who scored his fourth win of the afternoon.

The gray filly increased her career earnings to $54,000 while remaining undefeated in two career starts after breaking her maiden over the Stall-Wilson turf course here at first asking Dec. 14.  She returned $11.80, $4.80 and $3.40 while accomplishing the one mile distance over a track made sloppy by morning rains in 1:41.80.

Hazel Grove, who made the pace with splits of 23.61 and 48.21, finished second and returned $3.80 and $3.20, while a length farther back was Missy's Deelite, who paid $3.80.

In the co-feature on Sunday, multiple Louisiana-bred stakes winner Willist returned to the winner's circle for the first time in more than a year. The race was transferred from the turf to the main track.

Racing resumes Monday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race holiday program beginning at 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.