Home of the Louisiana Derby

Turfiste Strikes in Black Gold for Theriot Triple

NEW ORLEANS, La. (January 31, 2009) - Walts David Stable's Turfiste outfinished front-running favorite Big Push in a hard-fought stretch duel to be best by a head in the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes Saturday at Fair Grounds.

As the second choice in the wagering, Turfiste paid $8.40, $4.20 and $3.20. He increased his career earnings to $83,933 with his second win in seven lifetime starts and accomplished the about 5 1/2-furlong distance over a firm Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:04.53.

The sophomore son of Military was ridden by Jamie Theriot, who won three races Saturday to regain the lead in his quest for a second consecutive Fair Grounds riding title.

"When I went to shoving on him he gave me a good kick," said Theriot.  "He got a little lazy when he made the lead, but he was the best horse.

"It feels great to win three races," Theriot added, "and it really is an honor to be the leading jockey here, but I'm not going to worry about that at his point."

Big Push, who set early fractions of 22.47 and 46.51, was clearly second best, returning $3.60 and $3, while a length and a half in front of Unbridle's Dream, who paid $3.40.

Racing resumes Sunday at Fair Grounds with an abbreviated nine-race program beginning at 12:30 p.m. CST. The last race will end about an hour before kickoff of the Super Bowl.

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.