Stormy West Wins Again in Marie Krantz Memorial

NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 24, 2009) - Diana and Guy Snowden's Stormy West remained perfect in three stakes starts at Fair Grounds this season when she captured Saturday's $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap for older fillies and mares.

Allowed to settle behind the early leaders, the daughter of Gone West swung to the outside in the stretch and withstood Shytoe Lafeet the rest of the way to capture the 14th running of the Krantz by a length. Earlier this meet, Stormy West topped Shytoe Lafeet by three-quarters of a length in the Furl Sail Handicap Dec. 27 and captured the Blushing K.D. Handicap on opening day Nov. 14.

Stormy West, conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, paid $4.80, $2.60 and $2.40 and accomplished the about 1 1/16-mile distance over the firm Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:44.96. She increased her career earnings to $364,653 with her seventh win from 20 career starts.

Runner-up Shytoe Lafeet returned $3.20 and $2.80, while Love to Tell returned $8.20 while finishing third, a length farther back.

Royal Madame and Symphony of Psalm alternated for the early lead with splits of 23.57 and 48.64 before tiring badly.

"I knew the top two would come back to me," said winning jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has been aboard for all three of Stormy West's victories this meet. "At the top of the lane I just let her loose.  She's very consistent."

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race program beginning at 12:30 p.m. 

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.