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Stormy West Tops FG's Furl Sail Handicap Saturday

NEW ORLEANS, La. (December 22, 2008) - Stormy West, already a stakes winner here this season, returns Saturday as the 7-2 morning line choice in the 37th running of the $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf at Fair Grounds.

The Furl Sail, contested at about 1 1/16-miles over the Stall Wilson turf course, has traditionally attracted a full field, and Saturday is no exception. Seventeen horses were entered, with three excluded based on assigned weights.

Owned by Diana and Guy Snowden and conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Stormy West captured the inaugural Blushing K. D. Handicap on opening day of the Fair Grounds meet on Nov. 14. Prior to that, the daughter of Gone West was fifth in the Grade I First Lady at Keeneland in October and second by three-quarters of a length in Belmont's Positive Gal Stakes in September.

Stormy West drew post No. 4 and is the 122-pound highweight. Patrick Valenzuela will make up most of the impost.

Capable of providing strong competition for Stormy West Saturday is Shytoe Lafeet, who hails from the barn of Larry Jones.  The John Wieczorek color bearer was very impressive when scoring by 2 1/2 lengths in her local debut in an allowance race Dec. 4.

In last year's Furl Sail, Shytoe Lafeet finished third, beaten a length, after circling the field in the stretch.  The King of Kings mare, who will break from post No. 13, is the 5-1 second choice in the morning line and gets 121 pounds assigned with Gabriel Saez up.

From the rail out, the Furl Sail field with weights, jockeys and odds is:  Candy Ball, 118, Miguel Mena (12-1); Final Refrain, 118, Jesse Campbell (8-1); Le Cordon Bleu, 117, Corey Lanerie (20-1); Stormy West, 122, Valenzuela (7-2); You Dancing Devil, 119, James Graham (8-1); Love to Tell, 117, Francisco Torres (12-1); New Edition, 118, Shaun Bridgmohan (15-1); Barbette, 117, Eddie Martin Jr. (15-1); Whisper to Me, 116, Ramsey Zimmerman (20-1); Symphony of Psalm, 119, Jamie Theriot (8-1); Trainee, 118, Jesus Castanon (15-1); Nans Joy, 118, Robby Albarado (8-1);  Shytoe Lafeet, 121, Saez (5-1), and Cat Hop, 118, E.J. Perrodin (12-1).

First post for Saturday's 10-race program 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.