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Stormy West Heads Saturday's Marie Krantz Memorial

NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 22, 2009) - Diana and Guy Snowden's Stormy West, twice a stakes winner at the current session, will attempt to make it three in a row as she heads a field of 14 older fillies and mares in the 14th running of the $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Stormy West will shoulder the top impost of 122 pounds and be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela. The daughter of Gone West has been installed as the 5-2 morning line choice in the weekend's featured event, scheduled for about 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

In her most recent trip to the post, Stormy West rallied to be best by three-quarters of a length in Fair Grounds' Furl Sail Handicap Dec. 27.  Before that the 5-year-old mare captured the Blushing K. D. Handicap by 1 1/2-lengths here on Fair Grounds' opening day Nov. 14.  Although carded for grass, that race was taken off the lawn and run over a sloppy main track.

John Wieczorek's Shytoe Lafeet, 7-2 second choice in the Krantz morning line, clearly figures as the top contender to Stormy West. The daughter of the good grass sire King of Kings raced wide in the Furl Sail but got up to be easily second best while unable to catch Stormy West.  Previously, the Larry Jones trainee was clearly best in a middle distance allowance race here Dec. 4.  Shytoe Lafeet is assigned 120 pounds Saturday and has regular rider Gabriel Saez slated for the saddle once again.

From the rail out, with weights and jockeys, the Marie Krantz field is as follows: Royal Madame, 113, Kerwin Clark; You Dancing Devil, 119, James Graham; Ruling Class, 114, Kirk LeBlanc; Symphony of Psalm, 116, Carlos Gonzalez; My Three Sisters, 115, Brian Hernandez Jr.; Stormy West, 122, Valenzuela; Cat Hop, 116, E. J. Perrodin; Nans Joy, 117, Miguel Mena; Trainee, 117, Jesus Castanon; High Surf, 112, Corey Lanerie; New Edition, 115, Lonnie Meche; Shytoe Lafeet, 120, Saez; Shares Perfection, 115, Jesse Campbell; and Love to Tell, 116, Donnie Meche.

First post on Saturday 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.