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Storm Treasure, Grasshopper Vie in Lacombe Memorial Saturday
NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 5, 2009) - Mike McCarty's Storm Treasure, winner of the inaugural running of the $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial Handicap last year, has been made the slight 3-1 morning line choice for the second running of the turf event Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Since last year's win in the Lacombe - which is contested at about one mile on the Stall-Wilson turf course - Storm Treasure has made six starts, all of them sprints. He was third in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita, and returned to Fair Grounds to capture the Bonapaw Stakes in December.
Inwood Stable, W. S. Farish Jr. and E. J. Hudson Jr.'s Grasshopper, winner of the 2008 running of the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap over Fair Grounds' main track, is the 4-1 early second choice in the Lacombe.
Grasshopper, who has more than held his own in 15 career starts on dirt and synthetic surfaces, will make his turf debut on Saturday. In addition to his graded-stakes win here last winter, Grasshopper was second by a half-length to Street Sense in the 2007 Travers and second by a neck to Circular Quay in the 2008 New Orleans Handicap.
Capable of providing strong competition for those two are Get Rich Quick, a winner of his last two over the local lawn, and Recapturetheglory, winner of last year's Grade II Illinois Derby and also a creditable fifth in the Kentucky Derby.
From the rail out, with jockeys, weights and morning line odds, the Lacombe field consists of Recapturetheglory, James Graham, 115 (6-1); Get Rich Quick, Miguel Mena, 117 (5-1); Trackerman, Francisco Torres, 114, 20-1; Unpaid Crusade, Jesse Campbell, 116 (10-1); Gold Wonder, John Jacinto, 115 (15-1); Antrim County, Jamie Theriot, 117 (8-1); Storm Treasure, Shaun Bridgmohan, 119 (3-1); Grasshopper, Corey Lanerie, 118 (4-1); Master Mizzen, Jesus Castanon, 116 (8-1); Acting Zippy, Shane Laviolette, 115 (20-1); General Charley, Pat Valenzuela, 114 (12-1); and Free Fighter, Brian Hernandez Jr., 115 (10-1).
Unpaid Crusade and Free Fighter will be coupled in the wagering.
First post time for Saturday's 10-race program is 12:35 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.